- says FG silence to investigate IGP encourages corruption
By OKOSUN DENNIS
A Joint Civil Society group have castigated the federal government for its silence despite humongous allegations of corruption against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The IGP was in August alleged to have engaged in corrupt practices, abuse of office and romancing with junior police officers.
In a letter jointly signed by 21 affiliates civil society groups titled: “On the grand corruption allegations by Senator Hamman Isa Misau against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr Mike Okiro” said it is shocking that the Presidency has remained silent in the face of these grievous and lingering corruption allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC.
They explained that in the last three months, “We, the representatives of key civil society organisations spread across Nigeria, and. have watched with serious concern, the failure of the Federal Government to address the serious allegations of grand corruption made by Senator Hamman Isa Misau, representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District against the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission Mr. Mike Okiro, respectively.
National Daily learnt that Senator Misau had accused the IGP of “grand corruption, abuse of office and predatory sexual misconduct against serving female officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
He has also accused the Chairman of the Police Service Commission of complicity in the corruption and irregularities surrounding police promotion.
Swiftly, instead of reacting to the grievous allegations, the IGP in a counter accusation narrative, punched Senator Misau of being a deserter from the NPF and forged documents related to his disengagement from the Force.
While commending the Senate’s prompt response in setting up the ad-hoc committees to carry out “prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigation,” they frowned at the Presidency’s silence in the face of these grievous and lingering corruption allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC.
The letter signed by Okechukwu Nwanguma, of NOPRIN Foundation; Dr. Chima Amadi, The Centre for Transparency Advocacy; Reverend David Ugolor, The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ); and Debo Adeniran, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) among others noted that “under the Constitution, the Police Act and the PSC Act, the President has primary supervisory responsibility over the IGP and the PSC.
“Fighting corruption is President Buhari’s signature commitment. Therefore, when allegations of crime and flagrant breach of the law are brought against the IGP, we expect the President to treat them seriously. Rather, his silence in this case has been deafening.
“Senator Misau’s allegation reinforce similar allegation contained in earlier petitions to the President against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC by notable civil society organisations, including NOPRIN, Access to Justice, and CSNAC. None of these petitions were acknowledged.
“Curiously, as soon as the Senate set up the ad hoc committee into the allegations against the IGP, the executive responded by filing criminal charges against the Senator ‘for making injurious statements against the IGP Ibrahim Idris’.
“The failure of the President to address these allegations is damaging to morale and discipline in the NPF and makes his anti-corruption agenda questionable.
“Police officers themselves have been grumbling and expressing their grievances through petitions over what they describe as irregularities and favouritism in police promotion which have seen many of them stagnate on the same rank for as long as 10 and more years while their mates and even juniors are promoted, sometimes two or three times over them.”
They further reiterated that “It also has grave implications for public safety and security as disgruntled police officers are predisposed to taking out their frustrations on fellow citizens becoming predators rather than protectors and undermining national security.”
The group, therefore called on President Buhari to live up to his “constitutional responsibilities and demonstrate commitment to genuinely fight corruption in the country by supporting efforts to get to the roots of the grave allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC.
The group also urged the President to ensure that they (accused persons) are appropriately sanctioned in accordance with the law if they are found culpable.