A civil society organisation, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), has accused the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, of abusing powers bestowed on his office in handling of the case between the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and Senator Isa Misau.
The group questioned why the AGF took up a case between two citizens “an apparent favour” of one.
The case between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Senator Misau is currently being heard by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Mr. Misau alleged that Mr. Idris stole about N10 billion monthly as internally generated revenue from policemen attached to private citizens and oil companies, engaged in romantic affairs with policewomen, and practiced favouritism in the promotion and appointment of Commissioners of Police.
The Senate set up a committee to probe the allegations, but the IGP while appearing before the panel declined to answer questions saying it would amount to subjudice since the matter was in court.
In an open letter on Monday, the CDHR described the decision of AGF to file criminal charges against Mr. Misau as an abuse of power.
“It is utterly worrisome that although the allegations by Senator Misau, being investigated by the Senate, are specifically directed at or against the person of Mr. Ibrahim Idris and not against the Federal Government or the Nigerian Police Force, but the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, exploiting your office and acting on behalf of the Federal Government, filed two separate charges in different courts against Senator Misau for allegedly making injurious statements against Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP,” the letter reads.
“Both cases are pending in Abuja before the Federal High Court and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, respectively. This decision to file two criminal charges against Senator Misau, apparently in favour of Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP, in the circumstance, comes across as an abuse of your office as the Attorney-General of the Federation. By instituting those criminal charges against Senator Misau you have given the very dangerous impression that the Buhari Administration is determined to cover up allegations of corruption made against any public officer.”
While calling on the AGF to withdraw the cases, the group challenged Mr. Malami to allow the IGP to defend himself.
“Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP, has filed a libel suit against Senator Isah Misau. Since Mr. Idris has rightly decided to defend his own reputation by suing for libel, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) is compelled to request that you immediately discontinue the embarrassing criminal charges against Senator Misau without any delay. We are convinced that the libel suit filed by Mr. Idris will restore his reputation if Senator Isah Misau fails to substantiate his allegations at the trial of the libel suit. The office of the Attorney General of the Federation is not to engage in taking up causes against citizens in apparent favour of certain individuals because they hold public offices.”