A FORMER COP AND THE NIGERIAN POLICE- THE STORY OF SENATOR MISAU AND IGP IDRIS
BY Anthony Opara
Senator Isah Misau is the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Navy. Sometime in July the Senator representing Bauchi Central in the Senate accused the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris of corruptly enriching himself through collecting money from policemen for choice postings as Commissioners of Police to states as well as through the charging of various amounts to provide Police Security to business concerns and highly placed individuals.
The Senator described the Inspector General of Police Mr Idris as the most corrupt IGP to ever hold sway at the Etim Inyang House in Abuja saying that some policemen paid as much as Fifteen Million Naira to be made Commissioners of Police in the States.
In a very delayed response the Spokesman to the Police called a press conference and declared that the Senator was a deserter who abandoned his duty post when he was transferred to the Niger State Police Command adding that he was away without leave (AWOL). In a swift response the former Police said he formally resigned from the force before contesting for the Senate. He also said that his record of resignation was received and approved by Police authorities when Idris was not the Inspector General. Senator Misau insisted that Mr idris was corrupt and should resign from the force adding that the Police force under his administration was a corrupt institution that was a disservice to President Buhari’s anti corruption war.
On their part the Police said the law maker should be arrested for abandoning his duty post and going away without leave. As would be expected the allegation drew flaks from stake holders. The peoples Democratic Party contended that the allegation by a law maker of the status of a Senator was grave enough and should be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Jimi Disu, political analyst at Classic FM in Lagos described the allegation as weighty and one that required the IGP to step forward to respond stating that the allegation was not against the Police as an institution but against the person of the IGP. He said it was unhelpful for the Police to allege the Senator did not resign properly as the correct answer would be whether the POlice Inspector took money to promote and send men to states as Commissioners as well as took money from corporate organizations to provide them with security without properly accounting for the funds.
To answer some of the questions raised the Police Service Commission (PSP) headed by a former Inpsector General of POlice Mr Okhiro swung into action and invited the former Policemen now a Senator to tell them more about the allegation but Senator Misau said he will not appear before the PSC as it was a violation of his privileges as a Senator of the Federal Republic. Notwithstanding the refusal of the Senator to appear before the panel the Commission investigated the allegation by the Police with regards to the exit of Misau from the Police. In a statement on September 6th the Commission confirmed the retirement letter of the Senator from the Police as an authentic document.
The PSC via a letter number 1034 Vol 8/244 issued a letter to the Senator who resigned as Superintendent of Police (SPO) on March 4 2010 but the letter took effect from December 1, 2010. Commentators had argued that the Police allegation was an after thought as the Senator must have been investigated and cleared to run as Senator before he ran for election and won alection as an All Progressice Congress (APC) Senator to represent Bauchi Central in the Senate. The 43 year old law maker holds a B.sc Degree in Business Administration from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria as well as a Masters Degree in Law Enforcement from the same university. Lagos based Lawyer Isiaka Adeleye said the IGP should sue the Senator for false accusation if he was sure of his clean hands adding that there is nothing in law that pretends a Senator from being sued in his personal capacity. He said that there is nothing in law that grants a Senator immunity from prosecution or from being sued in his personal capacity. Also Lagos based school teacher Augustus Akinbaloye said its wont be suprising that Mr idris would be mired in corruption allegation adding that his promotion to the office of the IGP was his reward for his role in the election that brought in President Buhari into office. It will be recalled that Mr Idris was the Commissioner of Police in Kano where the APC polled the magical two million votes for President Buhari. When all the votes were counted they equaled the number of registered voters in the state which has been described as an impossibility in real terms because it meant that from registration to election not one voter moved out of Kano or died. It was obvious that something was amiss and to add to the burden the electoral umpire died with members of his family in a fire incident just before eye brows were raised in what election observers said was a sham but which the Professor Attahiru Jega electoral body accepted,
On the allegation that the Police IGP have been misappropriating monies paid to the Police by corporate concerns for police protection many analysts who spoke to the Difference Newspapers said it was a long term practice that even the Current Chairman of the PSC enjoyed as Police Inspector General of Police. Several books written on the Police including the seminal work on the Nigerian Police by Professor Tamuno, the authority on Police Studies in Nigeria was silent on this practice so nobody can put a date as to when the practice started. Business concerns like oil companies due to the nature of their business sometimes require police protection for their premises and some of their personnel especially foreign consultants. The Police provide this security services for a fee but this fee is not captured in any where by the police authorities. Police IG’s take this money as their allowance and at some point all former IGP’s have benefitted from this largesse and governments over the years have not seen these sums as part of the money that accrues to the Police. Over the years this monies that the police collect but do not account for has grown as they even provide security to churches and leading men of God in the country especially leaders of Pentecostal churches. The late Archbishop Benson Idahosa had a security escort and it became a fad with many others requesting and getting their own. Some Pastors have as much as a platoon of Policemen guarding them and when you see their convoys you can mistake it for that of a state Governor but without the sirens and it may not be long before they start using sirens to clear the way when they are late to a crusade. Policemen are known to be escorts to wives of local government chairmen who are first ladies in the councils and in a recent incident the policemen attached to the wife of the Abia State House of Assembly shot and injured an official of the Federal Road Safety Commission leading the commission to insist that the policeman be prosecuted for misuse of firearms. This is the situation that the people have found themselves in a nation said to have inadequate number of policemen providing security . Tax payers money are wasted on trained policemen guarding all manner of govt officials and men in the society who can afford police protection. Politicians are known for boasting that they even have policemen guarding their unoccupied homes in the village. A classical recent case was when policemen guarding the unoccupied home of Former President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja looted the home to the extent that the story was no longer on the loot but on the quantity of what they looted. Can Dr Jonathan explain how come he has several homes in Abuja when he was in office for just six years. All things being equal Dr Jonathan’s legitimate pay as President cannot build the kind of house he is living in now at Abuja with his wife Dr Patience owning posh hotel in the city. If this is not corruption someone should please tell me what is.
The Difference Newspaper believes that its time the Police disclose how much accrues to them from offering extant security to companies and private citizens. There should be a law that should make it an offence for an IGP not to disclose this. Mr Idris should come clean on this one to say that he didn’t institute this practice and should not be punished for it unless all former IGP’s should come forward to state how much they took from the slush funds. This practice was in place when Mr Tafa balogun was jailed for corrupt enrichment as IGP, apparently the money from that source was not enough for him. Idris should however come clean on the weightier allegation of collecting bribes to send his men to the states as Commissioners of Police.
Nigeria Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris