By Terfa Naswem and Suleiman Hassan Dutse
Nigeria is one of the countries with so many intriguing “political dramas”. When one “political drama” is at the verge of coming to an end, another will be unfolding without allowing the “audiences” to even view the end credits to carefully take note of the crew and cast.
The latest of such “political dramas” is the rift between Senator Isah Hamman Misau and the Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris Kpotum.
Senator Misau accused IG Idris of cornering N10 billion monthly, taking bribe to post Commissioners of Police (CPs) to juicy states. The story was published on The Eagle Online on August 25, 2017.
Senator Misau is the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District. According to The Eagle Online, Misau took a swipe at the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, saying he lacks experience to run the Nigeria Police Force. Misau equally accused the IG of police failure to remit money realized from police men attached to private citizens and oil companies which is about N10 billion monthly, to the Federation Account. He also alleged that Commissioners of Police (CPs) had to bribe their way before they can be posted to juicy states like Rivers and Delta States among others. He insisted that at present, everything in the police is not merit because officers with 15 years experience in the Force were given special promotion. He said the Police Service Commission could not deny the bribery allegation. He stated further that even transfer of Commissioners of Police, State Mobile Commanders and SPU Commanders are also allegedly riddled in corruption.
The IG through the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood accused Misau of making pronouncement against the police out of vendetta. The IG said Misau is declared wanted for patronizing Indian hemps joints, absconding from the police and that he forged his retirement letter as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP Hamman Isah) instead of his actual rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). Moshood added in a story published on Thisdaylive on August 28, 2017 that members of the public are advised to disregard and discountenance all the allegations against the IG and the Nigeria Police Force by DSP Hamman as totally unfounded and absolute falsehood.
After going through all the stories published against Senator Misau by the IG and the Nigeria Police Force, the following questions are here for IGP Idris to answer:
1. It is on record that you began work as the Inspector General of Police since June 21, 2017 and by then Senator Misau was still the Senator. When did you discover that he absconded from the Police Force?
2. When did you discover that Senator Misau forged his retirement letter? Was it before or after he accused you of corruption?
3. When did you discover that Senator Misau patronizes Indian hemps joints? Was it before or after he accused you of corruption?
4. If you knew all these long ago, what kept you from bringing them to the attention of the media and the public before now?
5. If you never knew all these since and knowing how slow the police is when it comes to conducting investigations, how come you and the Police Force were able to swiftly carryout investigation within few days after Misau accused you of corruption to be able to come out with a comprehensive report which has been published against him?
6. Why did all these allegations against Senator Misau come up shortly after he accused you of cornering N10 billion monthly and taking bribe to post CPs to juicy states?
7. Would you sincerely welcome the idea of the Senate and House of Representatives probe committees to be set to probe you and the entire Police Force based on these allegations against you since you and the Police Force are also investigating Senator Misau?
The IGP has shot himself in the leg for bringing this information to the media and Nigerians only after been accused of corruption. This has made the public to agree with Misau assertion that the IG has failed to perform his duty effectively and therefore not fit to run the affairs of the Nigeria Police Force at that level.
This is an obvious indication that if Senator Misau had not accused IG Idris of corruption, he would have not brought up all the allegations against him. This is similar to Saraki’s case with the Federal Government. The Federal Government and APC elite never saw anything wrong with Saraki before he became the Senate President. His emergence as the Senate President against the wish of some APC elites triggered the series of corruption allegations against him. Before then, he was free like a bird! That is the same game that is playing out in the case of Senator Misau and the Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of IG Idris.
Most Nigerians do not doubt Misau allegations against the IG because this is not the first time an IG will be caught in the web of corruption as past IGs were accused of one form of corruption or the other.
Let us take IG Idris back to the most recent history of past four (4) IGs from 2010 which his case might not be really different.
Hafiz Ringim became the IGP on September 10, 2010 and retired on January 25, 2012. During his tenure, he was accused of collecting bribe to post CPs to juicy states. His case was even compounded when many Boko Haram suspects escaped under his custody including Kabiru Sokoto. He was accused of negligence and conniving with some Boko Haram members who paid him huge sum to stage the escape. After his sack by President Jonathan, he begged Britain for asylum over Boko Haram which the British government believed he broke a deal with some Boko Haram members which led to the threats to his life by Boko Haram.
Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar mounted the saddle in acting capacity as the IGP on January 25, 2012 and retired on August 1, 2014. Abubakar was accused of collecting bribe to post CPs to juicy states as well as diverting some police funds.
Suleiman Abba was appointed IGP by President Jonathan on August 1, 2014 and was sacked on April 20, 2015. Abba was accused of collecting bribe to post CPs to juicy states. He was also accused of collecting bribe from President Jonathan and other politicians to help them rig the 2015 general elections for them which he failed to deliver. Many believed that was the major reason he was sacked by Jonathan.
Solomon Ehigiator Arase was IGP from April 20, 2015 to June 21, 2016. He was appointed by Jonathan. He was also accused of collecting bribe to post CPs to juicy states. His case was even compounded by further allegations after he retired that he took 19 assorted vehicles belonging to the police.
Idris became the IG of Police after Arase retired. The trend of allegations still continues in the Nigeria Police Force because it has not changed. Misau allegations against Idris are not far from the truth as thorough and intensive investigation into the matter would prove Misau right. From our experiences with the Nigeria Police Force, We doubt if Senator Misau is wrong.
It is time for both the Senate and the House of Representatives to set up separate probe committees to probe the allegations against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris Kpotum and the Nigeria Police Force. It is after a transparent, thorough, and intensive probe is carried out that Nigerians will be satisfied and disregard such allegations which Moshood called on Nigerians to disregard.
It is now left for the National Assembly to take it from here and put the matter to rest. The Nigeria Police Force needs rigorous reform and the National Assembly should take this very seriously. The high level of corruption in the Nigeria Police Force needs rigorous reform to reduce it to the bare minimum.