…asks court to quash Senate’s resolution
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has begun a legal action to have the Federal High Court in Abuja to quash the May 9, 2018 resolution of the Senate declaring him “an enemy of democracy and unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.”
In an affidavit which he filed in support of his application seeking the court’s permission to file a substantive suit to challenge the resolution, Idris said the conduct of both the Senate and its President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in the proceedings leading to what he described as their “legislative judgment” was borne out of hatred and “undisguised contempt” they allegedly had for him.
The IG’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), appearing before Justice John Tsoho on Thursday, moved the ex parte application which sought leave to file a suit for “a judicial review” of the actions of the Senate and its President leading to the resolution passed by the Red Chamber on May 9, 2018.
Justice Tsoho granted the IGP’s ex parte application “after carefully reviewing the processes (court papers) and the exhibits filed.”
“I am convinced that the applicant has shown sufficient interest in the issues raised,” the judge ruled.
“Leave is hereby granted as prayed,” the judge ordered, adding that the order “shall be served on the respondents (Saraki and the Senate), through the Clerk of the National Assembly.”
The judge added that “such service shall be deemed proper and valid service.”
Justice Tsoho adjourned the case till June 27.
This will be the second legal battle Idris will be having with the Senate having earlier filed a suit before the same court asking for an order stopping the Senate’s insistence that he must appear in person for its legislative sitting in respect of criminal charges filed against a serving senator, Dino Melaye, and other killings around the country.
The Senate on May 9, 2018, declared Idris “an enemy of democracy and unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria” after the police chief refused to personally appear before it in honour of two successive invitations in April and May, this year.
The frosty relationship between the Senate and the IGP took another dimension when earlier in the week, the police linked Saraki to the kingpins of the April 5, 2018 robbery of banks in Offa, Kwara State, which left 33 persons including policemen dead.
The Senate and the House of Representatives had thereafter, in a joint session, passed another resolution sticking to the Senate’s “vote of no confidence” in Idris.
But the IG has described the Senate’s May 9, 2018 resolution as an unwarranted “penal sanction” and “a legislative judgment” borne out of the alleged hatred and contempt the Senate and Saraki had for him.
He said the conduct of the Senate and its President, Saraki, during the “votes and proceedings” leading to the May 9, 2018 resolution “is palpable of bias, deep-rooted prejudice, visible hatred, and undisguised contempt of me.”
He stated this in an affidavit which he personally deposed to and filed in support of the ex parte application for leave to commence a legal action for a “judicial review” of the Senate’s action.
Justice Tsoho granted him the leave as prayed for in the ex parte application on Thursday.
The IG said in his affidavit that his lawyer, Izinyon, had informed him that the Senate “lacked the competence and/or jurisdiction to impose penal sanction” on him under section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution”.
He gave details of why he was unable to personally honour the Senate’s invitation prompting him to delegate his subordinates to attend the legislative hearing on his behalf.
Idris said on April 25, he received a letter from the Senate inviting him to appear on April 26, but that he could not honour it because he was, on the said April 26, in Bauchi State, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that he joined “the presidential entourage embarking on two days official trip to Bauchi State.”
He immediately delegated the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), an Assistant Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, whom he said were all conversant with the issues raised by Saraki and the Senate to attend the Senate’s proceedings on his behalf.
He said the Senate, however, refused to grant an audience to his representatives and then rescheduled the sitting to May 2, 2018 “with a stern warning that I, Ibrahim Kopotum Idris, must appear or face the consequence.”
The IG whose affidavit did not give reasons for his inability to attend the Senate’s May 2, 2018 sitting, faulted the resolution made on May 9, 2018, as “ultra vires” the Senate’s powers.