The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase has defended police investigation into the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders 2015.
In the preliminary objection filed by the counsel for the Inspector General of Police, Oloye Torugbene, in the ongoing case, the police asked the court to strike out the plaintiff’s suit because he lacked the legal right to institute the suit.
He added that the forgery allegation raised ‘issues of criminality’ and ‘not simply an issue on the floor’ of the Senate.
A counter-affidavit accompanying the preliminary objection and deposed to by an officer in the Legal/Prosecution Section of the Force Criminal Investigation Department in Abuja, Joshua Yohanna, stated, “Every Nigerian can be investigated for crime. There is no immunity against investigation in all civilised countries, Nigeria inclusive.
“Investigating the allegation of forgery can only strengthen the integrity of the Senate and the Senate leadership.”
The police therefore urged the judge to strike out the suit because the plaintiff had not demonstrated that he had ‘special interest that is beyond that of every other senator.’
They insisted that they had a duty to investigate allegations of crimes and that their “duty will be impeded” if the court granted the prayers sought by the plaintiff.
“The first defendant (the Inspector-General of Police) has a duty and responsibility to investigate all allegations of crime; to determine whether allegations of forgery are made out; who committed the said forgery; and if there is a forgery at all, in the first place.
Investigating the allegations and determining the culpability or otherwise of the alleged culprits will lead to a just conclusion of the matter.
Non-investigation of the allegations will engender mistrust amongst the disputing sides. The matter at hand is not simply an issue on the floor.
The matter at hand raises issues of criminality. The first defendant (the Inspector-General of Police) owes Nigerians the duty to unearth the truth behind the allegations of forgery.”
The police maintained that Arase had never taken side on the issue and would remain neutral.
“The first defendant is neutral in this matter. The first defendant has not taken sides, will not take sides and does not take sides on issues of this nature at all.”
Justice Gabriel Kolawole on August 4 fixed September 8 for the hearing of an application filed by another Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi seeking to be joined as a defendant in the suit.