Adelani Adepegba, Leke Baiyewu and Olalekan Adetayo
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said on Thursday that he released two cars for the security of the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, and not for her personal use as alleged by the lawmaker representing the Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Senator Isa Misau.
Idris, who spoke through the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said he released a Toyota Sienna and Hiace bus to the aide-de-camp to the wife of the President, and not to the President’s wife.
A statement signed by Moshood on Thursday, read, “It is within the powers of the IG as stated above that when on January 17, 2017, SP Sani Baba-Inna, the ADC to the wife of the President requested two vehicles for police personnel for convoy movement and security purposes, two vehicles, Toyota Sienna Bus with Reg. No. NPF 2406D and Toyota Hiace Bus with Reg. No. NPF 3363D, were approved by the Inspector-General of Police to the ADC, wife of the President, SP Sani Baba-Inna, for the purposes requested and not to the person of the wife of the President or for her personal use as alleged by Misau.”
Misau had on Wednesday, while appearing before the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Investigation of Various Allegations Levelled Against the Police, the Inspector-General of Police and the Police Service Commission probing his allegations against the IG, claimed that the President’s wife requested and received two Toyota Prado SUVs from the police boss for her personal use.
Misau had told the committee, “I still have some contract papers that the IG himself submitted to the court, where the First Lady through her aide-de-camp requested a Toyota Hiace and a Sienna jeep. The same day that the ADC wrote, the IG minuted that she should be given two jeeps. And it is not part of the appropriation. If you look at the appropriation, there is nowhere they said the First Lady should be given two jeeps.”
Before the IG’s reaction, Mrs. Buhari had earlier on Thursday denied receiving cars from the IG, stressing that she still used her personal cars and that there was no truth in the claim by the senator.
In a statement by her Director of Information, Suleiman Haruna, she said there was no truth in the allegation.
The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to the news being widely circulated and attributed to a member of the Senate that two SUVs from the Inspector-General of Police were given to the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, personally.
“The wife of the President wants to make it clear that since the assumption of office of her husband as the President of Nigeria, she did not receive these mentioned vehicles.
“Furthermore, the vehicles she is still using belong to the family and were the ones used during the campaign for 2015 elections including the one for her entourage.”
But the controversy surrounding the cars assumed a new dimension on Thursday evening when Misau denied indicting Aisha Buhari, alleging that it was the IG that dropped the President wife’s name.
Misau, in a statement issued in Abuja, stated that Idris dropped Mrs Buhari’s name in the documents tendered by the police boss in the suit filed against the lawmaker by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation on behalf of the Federal Government.
The senator noted that he only made reference to the details in the papers submitted by the IG.
The statement read, “I am constrained to make this press release without prejudice to the pending charge against me and the mandate of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Various Allegations Against the Police and the Police Service Commission, so as to dissuade any misconceptions or innuendoes that may unwittingly be read into my comments before the committee at its sitting of the Wednesday, 25th October, 2017.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I did not make any allegation against the person of the highly revered wife of the President; my comments in addressing the committee were to the effect of referencing court documents filed in the charge against me before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory by the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation, with charge no: CR/ 345/17.
“The said documents which form part of the proof of evidence to the charge are correspondence between the Inspector-General of Police and the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federation; the Chief of Staff to the President; the Director, National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies; the Aide-De-Camp to the wife of the President; and the Chief Personal Security Officer to the President.
He added, “It was indeed a shock to me as I am sure it is to other Nigerians, to see such private and confidential documents with all the minutes of the President and other top government officials carelessly displayed in the public by the Inspector-General of Police in manifest breach of official Secrecy.
“The motive for displaying these documents is no doubt suspicious, given that they have little or no bearing on the matter of inappropriate practices within the Police.
“My submission before the Senate ad hoc committee was simply to call the attention of members as well as the general public to how the IGP is unethically dropping names through filing of secret documents so as to rope these top-ranking innocent personalities into the case. The IGP is the one who submitted the official documents mentioning the names of the respected personalities, not me. I believe I need to make this clarification.” (Punch)