The Kwara State caucus of the House of Representatives has accused the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, of misleading Nigerians and playing politics with the recent controversy surrounding arrested crime suspects in Kwara.
In a statement signed on behalf of the members by Razak Atunwa, the lawmakers said they will resist any attempt by the police to implicate Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Mr Saraki had earlier accused the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of trying to implicate him by getting some of the suspects to confess they were sponsored by the senate president. The police have denied that claim.
The Kwara lawmakers said they were conversant with the claims and counter-claims by the senate president and the police.
They said as key stakeholders in Kwara State, they were familiar with the developments in their constituencies and it was necessary to let Nigerians know their view on the matter.
“It seems to us that the IGP is standing facts on the head. We hereby state the facts of the matter and we invite everyone to independently verify them.
“We are aware that the suspects listed by the IGP, all of whom are now in Abuja, were arrested on 5 May 2018 for the offences of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.”
“After the completion of investigations, the police addressed a press conference on 10 May 2018. During the press conference, the police emphasised the fact that it was ready to arraign the suspects in court.
“The suspects were formally arraigned on 15 May 2018. Due to the absence of the prosecutor, the court directed the police to bring them back to court the following day.
“On 16 May 2018, rather than bring the suspects to court, the police decided to take them to Abuja without any reference to the court.”
They said as far as they were concerned, there is no ongoing investigation by the police in the case involving the suspects. They, therefore, dismissed the claim by the police that the statement by the senate president could jeopardise investigation.
They questioned why the IGP ordered suspects, who were set to be arraigned in court, to be taken to Abuja without deferrence to the court handling the matter.
“Does that not portend an ulterior and sinister motive?
“It is most curious that the IGP would be so suddenly interested in an investigation that he was prepared to truncate on-going criminal proceedings.”
They urged the police chief not to engage in improper conduct with the aim of falsely incriminating innocent people.
“The Inspector General of Police should stop playing politics with law enforcement work.
“He needs to work with all stakeholders to succeed and therefore should stop encouraging the “We” versus “Them” campaign now going on across the country about police duties and activities.”
Mr Saraki had on Wednesday alleged a plot by the Inspector General to “frame and implicate” him.
He alleged that the police chief had transferred some criminal suspects undergoing interrogation in Kwara to make statements to implicate him.
Following Mr Saraki’s allegation, the Senate set up a committee to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the matter.
The police also in a statement denied trying to frame Mr Saraki, warning the lawmaker to desist from interfering in an ongoing criminal probe.
Mr Idris has been having a running battle with the Senate under Mr Saraki, repeatedly refusing to honour summons by the Senate and accusing its members of criminal behaviour.