By Kingsley Omonobi & Evelyn Usman
•Idris’s time is up, he must go – NOPRIN
ABUJA—There is uncertainty in the Police Service Commission, PSC, following the silence of the Presidency over the expected retirement of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who completed 35 years in service last Thursday, December 3, 2018.
Consequently, a source in the commission told Vanguard that PSC was now waiting to see if any decision by the federal government would be communicated when IGP Ibrahim Idris turns 60 years of age on January 15, 2019.
According to civil service statutes, the occupant of the office of the Inspector General of Police is to resign after spending the mandatory 35 years in service or attaining 60 years of age, whichever came first.
A source at the commission, however, said there was nothing the PSC could do on its own, adding that they were still open to the window of the IGP attaining 60 years of age on January 15 to proceed on retirement, except the President felt otherwise.
Recent activities of the Inspector General of Police, including the deployment and redeployment of over seven state police commissioners to states commands, such as Bauchi, Kogi, Imo, Edo, Bayelsa, Delta, Abia, and Akwa Ibom among others, do not give the impression of an IGP who had attained mandatory 35 years in service and is willing to go on retirement.
Incidentally, more than 10 senior police officers, who were course mates of IGP Idris, who attained the mandatory 35 years in service, were duely retired in 2018.
Among them are the former Commissioner of Police in charge of Special Fraud Unit, Lagos, Kola Shodipo; former Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State, Austin Iwar; CP Isaac Eke, and Deputy Commissioner of Police Chinwuba Isiakpuna.
A course mate of IGP Idris, who earlier rose to the position of IGP and was retired by former President Goodluck Jonathan, was Suleiman Abbah.
The Police Council made up of the 36 state governors, chaired by the President, is supposed to confirm a new Inspector General of Police if and when a new one is chosen by the President.
It’s time for him to go —NOPRIN
Meanwhile, the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, NOPRIN, comprising 46 civil society organisations spread across the country, stated that Idris only sees his job and role as that of protecting the interest of President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All progressives Congress, APC.
It pointed out that the constant harassment, intimidation and victimisation of political opponents and critical voices attested to its claim.
National Coordinator of the network, Okechukwu Nwaguma, therefore, appealed to the President to prioritise national security and national interest above selfish, narrow or partisan interest, by appointing a new IGP, in order to redeem the battered image and restore the lost pride of the Nigeria Police.
He said: “Now that the IGP’s tenure has lapsed this January, President Buhari should immediately convene the Police Council to select and nominate for Senate approval- as required by the constitution, a competent and qualified senior officer with requisite professional, leadership and managerial competence and integrity as the new IGP.
“It is bad enough that the President has ignored calls to sack the IGP on account of his incompetence and the serial scandalous allegations hanging on his neck. But it will be a tragedy if the President takes the joke too far by deciding to succumb to partisan pressure to extend the tenure of this same failed IGP after he has served out his lawful term on account of age and/or length of service.
“We witnessed in 2018 the arrest and detention at the Force Headquarters of a Premium Times reporter who was eventually charged to court maliciously and on frivolous charges, for refusing to disclose his source of information.
“We also witnessed in December 2018 the arrest and detention of Mr. Deji Adeyanju, Civil Rights Activist and Social Critic, by the Nigeria Police Force which eventually took him to Kano on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, where he was charged and remanded in prison for an offence he allegedly committed in 2009 which had been decided already by the court which discharged and acquitted him.
“Now, we are witnessing the shameless police siege on Melaye’s residence on the orders of an IGP under whose command the same police has not only exhibited a pathetic lack of capacity to confront criminals but has even suffered enormous casualties in the line of duty. This siege is the culmination of a running battle between the police and Melaye which has a clear political undertone.
“In a civilized, democratic clime, where the rule of law reigns, guides and regulates the conduct of government, the continued show of shame of the unrestrained siege on the residence of Senator Dino Melaye by the police would not be tolerated.
“The further invasion of Melaye’s family life and privacy and the violation of his right to human dignity ought to have embarrassed a responsible government.
“Unfortunately, the Inspector General of Police is emboldened to continue to engage in his serial abuse of power and barefaced partisan displays by the silence of the President who ought to call him to order but has failed to do so.
“The Inspector General of Police, Idris, probably embarked on this latest show of shame, the prolonged unjustifiable siege on Melaye’s residence, just to underscore his partisan loyalty at the twilight of his tenure and impress and remind the President to extend his expired tenure.”