By OKOSUN DENNIS
What seems to be like the theatre of the absurd has just begun. The characters are from the same constituency; one retired and the other still serving.
The case is alleged corruption, violation of officer code of conduct and regulations, romance with junior officers leading to pregnancy and ultimately culminated into secret marriage on one hand, and forgery, desertion and dereliction of duty on the other hand.
Since Senator Hamman Isah Misau, on August 10, 2017, granted an interview to Daily Trust Newspaper and alleged IGP Ibrahim Idris that police officers pay as much as N2.5m to get special promotion and posting through the Police Service Commission (PSC) – depending on the rank – the authority of the Nigerian Police frowned at it and immediately labelled the Senator a deserter from the Nigerian Police Force.
Unfortunately, in similar fashion, the Presidency remained mute but when it decided to act slammed charges against the whistle blower – Senator Misau. Since then, the IGP has not also deemed it necessary to present himself voluntarily for probe or the relevant government agencies calling for his probe or suspension either.
After over three months the alleged mendacious proclamation embarrassed Nigerians sensibility, it is rather unfortunate that there is no investigation carried out by the federal government to determine whether the IGP actually received certain amount of money illegally or whether such moneys so received was paid into the police coffer through the TSA.
Embarrassingly, what we hear is that the Senator who made the allegation has been charged for making an allegation that has not been investigated or substantiated by the Federal Government or the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
No doubt, some social commentators have claimed the Senator is being victimised because he touched a Sacred cow allegedly favoured by the presidency.
Instead of exonerating himself, the IGP moved a counteraccusation narrative through his spokesperson, CSP Jimoh Moshood alleging that Senator Misau did not genuinely resign from the Police force even though the Police Service Commission (PSC) has cleared Senator Isa Haman Misau that he did, genuinely retired from the Nigerian Police after all.
Now, while pebbles and diminutive tantrums are being thrown from one angle, while others are threatening the senator of telling lies against their daughter, the federal government has risen from the cocoon to slam 7-count charges against Senator Misau without any established investigative panel to determine the culpability of the senator on those allegations and subsequently dragged him to court on Thursday for “injurious falsehood against the IGP and the police force.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians have been reacting to the seeming silence of the federal government to investigate the IGP or commission an investigative panel by any of its agencies like the Independent Corrupt Practices and allied offences Commission (ICPC) or the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to thoroughly look into the allegations against the Inspector General of Police with a view to exonerating or indicting him.
They are of the view that FG silence and by extension taking side with IGP Idris despite humongous allegations, does not only encumber efforts of Buhari’s administration to fight corruption but a copious dent on every other effort supposedly enunciated by this administration to sincerely fight corruption.
“The position of the Federal Government on the matter was dangerous in its quest to sincerely fight corruption especially as the present government’s cardinal slogan during 2015 election campaign was to combat corruption in all its ramifications,” a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav told National Daily.
He further explained that “It will be honourable for the IGP to come out and clear himself just as the PSC cleared Senator Misau of charges of desertion and forgery,” he added.
On who can investigate the IGP, Tsav further reiterated that “The Independent Corrupt Practises Commission (ICPC) can investigate the IGP as the PSC has no statutory powers to investigate criminal cases other than disciplinary infractions against serving members of the Force.
Adding that, “Failure to investigate IGP Idris would amount to playing double standards in the fight against corruption. If Mr Tafa Balogun and Sunday Ehindero (both retired IGPs) were investigated, why must Ibrahim Idris be a sacred cow?
Also speaking, a Reverend in one of the Pentecostal Fellowship, who spoke anonymously said, “Where exactly are we going? Does it mean that anybody that is working with President Buhari is untouchable? From the look of things, Ibe Kachikwu may go. I am not comfortable with Buhari again in its anti-corruption crusade.”
In a letter signed by 21 Civil Society groups led 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, they tongue lampooned the presidency for been silent in the face of these grievous and lingering corruption allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of 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,” they stated.
CSP Jimoh plays the ostrich
As a well breed spokesperson for the Nigerian Police and the determination, commitment with which he reeled out offences purportedly committed by Senator Misau – desertion and forgery – it was expected that information flow will not be harped.
Unfortunately, since the PSC cleared the senator through a letter: Ref. No: PSC 1034 Vol.8/244 and issued on March, 2014, but took effect from December 1, 2010” the spokesperson suddenly became mum.
Expectedly, commentators are of the view that just the same way the counteraccusation narrative went, the Force Public Relation Officer (FPPO) CSP Jimoh Moshood ought to toll the line of honesty by telling the world about how the IGP has been able to extricate himself from such witty allegations of monstrous corruption.
However, to set the record straight, National Daily took on CSP Jimoh on telephone conversation.
Jimoh said, “I don’t know what you mean by that one again oga. Please, don’t talk about that (referring to IGP and Senator Misau’s case). I thought we have gone pass that? I beg you oh!!! He terminated the call.
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Federal Government’s charges
Amazingly, in a case that has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt or witnesses called to testify, it was surprising that the Federal Government on Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 slammed a 5-count charge against Senator Isah Hamman Misau.
It becomes worrisome, therefore, if those at the helm of affairs of our judicial system abide by existing laws or procedure before slamming those charges against an individual or they choose to do it to suit their paymasters? Fortunately, no one investigative panel or board of inquiry has proven otherwise.
Unexpectedly, acting on behalf of the Federal Government, a senior state counsel, Mr. Aminu Akilu preferred against the senator, “That you, Isah Hamman Misau of Hamman Misau Residence, Turaki Street, Misau, Bauchi State, on or about October 5, 2017, at Abuja and other part of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did make a false statement of fact to wit: that about ten billion naira (N10bn) is being received by the Inspector-General of Police on a monthly basis from oil companies, banks, hotels and individuals as bribes for police protection and that is why you see people of dubious character with sirens in the country which said false statement of fact was aired in the Channels Television programme tagged ‘Politics Today’ on August 27, 2017, and published in the Daily Trust Newspaper dated October 5, 2017, knowing that such false statement of fact would harm the reputation of Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris (the serving Inspector-General of Police), the Nigeria Police.”
As the ongoing accusation is ranging, the security analysts are of the view that as grievous the allegations are against the Inspector General of Police, the presidency should do the needful by suspending him and institute a probe panel to investigate all the allegations against him with a view to putting to rest all the alleged malfeasances.
National Daily gathered from a police source that the allegations against the IGP may not be a fluke after all as there are glaring cases of abuse of office, corruption and promotion of junior officers, among whom are with his mistresses from the rank of Inspector to Assistant Superintendent of Police without following due process or laid down procedures.
To buttress that, in a statement signed by the Media, Press and Public Relations Officer of Police Service Commission, (PSC) Mr Ikechukwu Ani, disclosed that the commission has withheld all recommendations to the PSC on special promotions by the IGP until he complies with the guidelines for Special promotions in the force.
National Daily gathered that Misau had on the floor of the Senate alleged the IGP was “openly having two relationships with police women who he gave special promotion. One of them is Amina and one of them is DSP Esther which the IG on 15th of last month got married to that woman DSP.”
Senator Isah Misau, who is also the Chairman Senate Committee on the Navy was alleged to have forged his retirement letter after he deserted the police force as a Deputy Superintendent of Police about seven years ago.
PSC reiterated the senator followed the due process having genuinely retired. National Daily recalled that the Nigeria Police Force on August 27 declared Misau a “deserter”, and accused him of carrying a forged retirement letter.
National Daily gathered that allegations of bribe for promotion and other illegal collections levelled against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, by Senator Haman Misau, might not be a fluke after all.
Investigation revealed that some officers are deliberately posted to some command on the order of the IGP to remit certain amount of money to him on monthly bases ranging from N1m and above.
A senior police officer who spoke anonymously with our reporter said “Since I joined the police force, this is the worst Inspector General of Police I have experienced or work under. He is so corrupt, yet, there is the make-believe that he is incorruptible.”
“Why do you think that posting of police officers is rampant these days? The moment you are posted, there are his boys everywhere that collect money and utter the posting so long you are able to pay the specified amount.
“For the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) to Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), they pay between N150,000 and N200,000 for promotion while as from Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and above, they pay as much as N1m and above. It is no longer a secret; it is an open market.
“A colleague of mine was posted early this year to the North; he was not comfortable with it considering that he was recently posted to Lagos from the north. He was linked with one of the IGP boys, an Inspector of police, and after paying the specified amount, the posting was reversed.
“The unfortunate aspect of it is that as I speak now, he has been posted again. Is that how posting is done in other security organisations? He queried.
Why Presidency is silent
National Daily gathered that the presidency has not only kept a sealed lips over the IGP case but funnily gone ahead to arraign Senator Misau on a five-count charge in court on Thursday for purportedly making “injurious falsehood” against Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector General of police and the Nigerian Police Force.
However, how the presidency arrived at its conclusion without instituting any probe panel to probe various allegations on both side – IGP and Senator Misau – remains a mystery.
Incidentally, from available cases that have not been sufficiently dealt with, National Daily learnt that the case of the suspended Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawal on the N270m grass clearing scandal; the $43m money recovered from Ikoyi apartment and the disharmony between the NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachihwu and now Senator Misau and IGP Ibrahim Idris, are plethora of unresolved issues in the public domain waiting for the presidency to resolve.
A lawyer, Barr Giwa Amu, however, faulted President Buhari’s style saying keep quite over the suspended Secretary to the federal government after the Vice President submitted its reports was dangerous.
“President Buhari supposed to implement the recommendations of the panel he set up before living the country. Almost two months after reports of the committee was made available to him, I am amazed he has still not said anything about it. That is dangerous for the Vice President because his recommendations might have been leaked to those probed.
He added, the President is not fighting corruption. The case against Senator Misau is tantamount to “victimisation and oppression” because he exposed some unknown illegalities of the IGP, so why is the federal government taking side?
He asked: Why is it difficult for the presidency to set up an investigative panel to look at those allegations against the IGP?
Also, a Civil Society Group on Wednesday lampooned President Buhari for his silence. They said, “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 Isah Misau, representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission Mr. Mike Okiro, respectively.
Now, that case has started!
The facts are obvious, analysts say until a strong investigative panel is set up to look at various allegations by the senator against the Inspector General of Police, the sincerity of the federal government to comprehensively fight corruption will be a mirage.
Some of the questions begging for answers are: Is the IGP Ibrahim Idris innocent? Why is the Federal Government finding it difficult to probe those allegations? Is this the best way to protect a whistle blower?
Concluding, the former CP observed that “What is good for the goose; should also be good for the gander. Are they resorting to or is he enjoying special immunity as a Northerner?