In Nigeria, impunity goes hand in hand with corruption. Since the first civil war, Nigerians have had to watch successive generations of people perform unspeakable acts of greed, violence and corruption and face no reckoning or consequence for their actions. Instead these people are rewarded with more opportunities, positions of power/influence and the admiration of the citizenry, whose only dream is to one day usurp the people enjoying these benefits and replace them. Ascending into the realms of impunity is every Nigerian’s dream, from the plantain seller to the president.
It’s an open fact that no former President has been made to account for his dealings in office especially as it relates to usage of taxpayers fund. The same set of individuals that campaigned with the maxim “service to the people” who refuse to answer when they are called to account for their time in service.
The latest champion of such impunity is no other than the inspector-general of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who is indirectly enjoying the backing of the Presidency.
His woes started on August 25, 2017, when the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senator Isah Misau alleged the office of the Inspector General generates 120 Billion Naira annually from manipulating the deployment of Police Officers for special duties. He also alleged the office also requested illegal payments for special promotions by police officers especially commissioners of Police.
As weighty as these allegations were, it generated mixed reactions from Nigerians especially as it was raised by an aggrieved former police officer turned Senator.
It took an unexpected dimension when the Senate summoned the Inspector-General of police to appear before its ad-hoc committee investigating the allegations alongside Senator Isah Misau on November 1, 2017. Few weeks to the commencement of the committee sitting, precisely on October 12, 2017, the Inspector-General of police through his lawyers, Izinyon and Co. filed a suit before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to stop the Senate from investigating him. This court order was used an excuse not to appear before the Senate on November 1, 2017. He reaffirmed this after meeting the President a few days later that he will only appear before the Senate after due consultation with his legal team.
The fact of the matter is that the Nigerian Senate no matter their inadequacies and misgivings is a microcosm of the Nigerian electorate. The Senate is independent and has the right to summon the IGP for clarification on issues concerning the utilisation of public funds. If the I.G.P. refuses to appear before a committee that has no legal power to prosecute him, it suggests he has no respect for the law he is supposed to uphold and endorse.
The IGP’s behaviour can be likened to that proverbial man that runs when no one is chasing him. As Senate President Bukola Saraki has said, if the IGP is innocent he should stop running away from the Senate.
This impunity has to stop!