The Senate has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to appear before it at 11 am on Wednesday, to answer questions on why Senator Dino Melaye was handcuffed by policemen, who arrested him on Tuesday.
Idris was also expected to answer questions on the spate of insecurity and its attendant killings in different locations across the federation.
The police boss, who was summoned to appear before the lawmakers yesterday, failed to show up, as he was said to have accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to Bauchi State on official engagement.
Announcing the inability of the IGP Ibrahim to honour the summons, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Abu Ibrahim, said the IG had mandated Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations to stand in for him.
But the senators were piqued by Senator Ibrahim’s statement, with many of them accusing the IG of being disrespectful of the Senate.
Senate President Bukola Saraki reminded Ibrahim that it was the IGP that the Senate summoned through a resolution and not the DIG.
Deputy Senate Leader Bala Ibn Na ‘Allah urged members not to listen to any other person other than the IGP.
“This Senate consists of elected representatives of over 180 million Nigerians. So, the invitation to the IGP is from over 180 million Nigerians.
“I am not comfortable with the way democratic institutions are being treated in this country. It is in the interest of the President that his appointees respond to invitations from the legislature.
“I don’t want my grandchildren to look into my legislative record at the National Assembly in the future and say that ‘our grandfather was stupid.”
A suggestion by one of the senators that the IGP should inform the Senate about a convenient date to honour the summon was dismissed by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha said the Parliament has suffered untold humiliation in the hands of officials of the present administration, regretting that some officials believe that the legislature should be treated as an appendage of the executive arm.
The senator representing Taraba South noted that some of the President’s appointees were responsible for the strained relationship between the executive and the legislature with habitual disrespect for the institution of parliament.
According to him, many of these appointees have the erroneous impression that it is disrespectful of the legislature to invite the President’s appointees, particularly security chiefs.
Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North) blamed Senator Abu Ibrahim and the President’s liaison officer at the Senate, Ita Enag, for the lapses.
In his own contribution, Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio said he was of the conviction that the IG would be glad to honour the invitation to address the Senate on issues of security.
Senator Isa Misau wondered why the IGP could mobilise over 100 armed policemen within a short notice to arrest Senator Melaye, whereas the police were yet to arrest the thugs that invaded the Senate chambers and made away with the mace.
Closing the debate, Saraki said the dignity and integrity of democratic institutions should be respected, saying that he had been trying to reach the IGP in the last 72 hours without any response from the police boss.
He stated that if the IG had informed President Buhari that he had a date with the Senate, the President would have given him leave to honour the invitation, adding that it was disrespectful of the IGP to send his DIG.