The Federal Government has amended criminal charges against Senator Isah Misau, before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting at Maitama, by increasing the counts from five to seven.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) has engaged a private prosecutor to handle the case, on behalf of government.
Misau, who represents Bauchi Central Senatorial District, is facing trial for allegedly making “injurious falsehood” against the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Mr. Ibrahim Idris, and the Nigerian Police Force.
In the said charge marked FCT/HC/CR/345/2017, the FG listed some of the “injurious falsehood” it said the defendant made, to include allegations that police officers paid as much as N2.5million to get special promotion and posting through the Police Service Commission.
The charge was a direct fallout of allegations Misau, who himself is a retired deputy superintendent of police, raised against the IGP.
Misau was charged for alleging that the police boss diverted money meant for the purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers, Sport Utility Vehicles and other exotic cars. He was said to have falsely accused the IGP of making almost half of mobile police commanders in the country, people of his Nupe extraction.
The lawmaker, aside accusing the IGP of instituting roadblocks accross Nigeria, with the purpose of extorting money from unsuspecting motorists, equally alleged that the police boss had sexual affair with female police officers. Misau further alleged that the IGP collects illegal fees by way of security protections given to corporate organizations, eminent citizens and oil companies running into billions of Naira.
The AGF maintained that the lawmaker had, by his utterances, committed an offence contrary to Section 393(1) of the Penal Code. Meanwhile, at the resumed proceeding on the case, the new prosecutor, Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN) told the court that the AGF issued him a fiat to handle the trial and, to also apply for a subpoena that was issued to compel the IGP to appear as a witness in the matter to be quashed.
Iziyon insisted that the said subpoena dated November 22, amounted to an abuse of court process, saying it was targeted at embarrassing the IGP.
However, Misau’s lawyer, Dr. Joshua Musa, SAN, challenged the legal validity of the amended charge FG filed against his client. He equally contended that the initial charge upon which his client was docked and granted N5million bail on October 19 was legally defective as it was bereft of the required seal. Musa argued that in the face of such default, the initial charge could not be amended. On the issue of subpoena aganst the IGP, the defence lawyer maintained that no law prohibited his client from applying for the police boss to appear as a witness to give evidence and tender documents in the matter. After he had listened to all the parties, the Chief Judge of the high court, Justice Ishaq Bello, who is presiding over the trial, fixed December 5 to hear all the pending applications. Meantime, the two new allegations against Misau read: “That you Isah Hamman Misau of Hamman Misau Residence, Turaki Street, Misau, Bauchi State on or about 26th August, 2017 at Abuja and other part of Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, did make a false statement of fact to wit: that the Inspector-General of Police is scoring high marks by making almost half of the mobile commanders in the country, people of his Nupe extraction which said false statement of fact was published in the This Day Newspaper and The Punch Newspaper both dated 26th August, 2017, knowing that such false statement of fact would harm the reputation of Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris (the serving Inspector-General of Police) and the Nigeria Police Force and you thereby committed an offence. “That you Isah Hamman Misau of Hamman Misau Residence, Turaki Street, Misau, Bauchi State on or about 26th August, 2017 at Abuja and other part on Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did make a false statement of fact wit: that the incumbent Inspector-General of Police, based on available records, series of petitions and reports from insiders, has no capacity to run the Police just like the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Rtd IGP Mike Okiro, who also lacks similar capacity going N300 million scam and others hanging on his neck since 2011 during the presidential primary election of the People’s Democratic Party where he served as the head of the security committee which said false statement of fact was published in the Thisday Newspaper and the Punch Newspaper both dated 26th August, 2017 knowing that such false statement of fact would harm the reputation of Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris (the serving Inspector-General of Police), Rtd IGP Mike Okiro, the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission and you thereby committed an offence”. (The Sun)
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has said that there is no law that prevents him from marrying a serving female police officer.
He challenged the lawmaker representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Senator Isa Misau, who accused him of having an affair with a junior female colleague, to prove him otherwise.
Idris stated this in a written defence he presented through his lawyer, Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN), to the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating the allegations against him by the senator.
SUNDAY PUNCH obtained a copy of the written defence, in which the allegations against the IG were listed in six categories and responded to.
He specifically asked the senator to cite a section of the law that prevents him from having romantic relationship with a policewoman.
The police boss recalled that Misau’s father married the lawmaker’s mother while in service.
On the allegation that Idris was having affairs with two female officers who also got questionable promotions as a result, Iziyon said, “This allegation is laughable and showed lack of understanding of the provisions of the Police Act and regulation.”
The Inspector-General of Police challenged the senator to cite the section of the Police Act and Regulation which forbids a police officer from marrying another police officer.
He said, “Until he brings such section of the Police Act, it will amount to discussing the Inspector-General of Police’s private life, which ordinarily should not have been entertained on the floor of the Senate.
“It might be appropriate to remind the senator, whose mother retired from the police as an Inspector of Police and a father who retired from the police as an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, that the Inspector-General of Police is a Moslem and, according to Islamic Law, can marry four wives provided he can love them equally.
“The senator also alleged that the Inspector-General of Police is in a relationship with one Corporal Amina whom he claimed was promoted from the rank of Corporal to an Assistant Superintendent of Police within 12 months.
“This allegation is false and the senator is under obligation to give the full particulars of the female police (officer), where she is serving and her duty post. It is not possible to promote a corporal to the rank of an ASP except the officer has attended an in-service cadet course.”
The IG, who earlier declined the committee’s invitation due to pending court cases over the matter, appeared before the Senate panel on Wednesday, accompanied by Iziyon; and the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang. ( The Sun)
• Police boss appears before Senate, refuses to answer questions
• No court can stop us –Committee chair
From Fred Itua, Abuja
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, yesterday, told a Senate ad-hoc committee investigating allegations leveled against him that he would not respond to questions.
The IGP, who appeared in company with his lawyer, Alex Izinyon, at about 2.30pm, told the committee, headed by Senator Francis Alimikhena, that since the case was already in court it would be sub judice for him to respond to questions from lawmakers.
He also claimed that the existence of the committee was against the Standing Rules of the Senate.
This is coming at a time supporters of IGP Idris stormed the National Assembly in solidarity.
Convener of the protest, Gloria Ugbeji, said the solidarity march was important based on the various reforms the police chief had brought to the service.
When asked question by one of the senators, the IGP said: “I will not make any oral comment or answer any question in respect of the allegations in view of the various civil and criminal cases pending in the law courts, more especially when the senator has already been arraigned in court in respect of this matter.
“I decided to appear before this Senate committee on the allegations out of high respect I have for the Senate and my respect for the rule of law.
“Furthermore, it is expected that the Senate and the committee will refrain from making references to the issues, as it will be against Order 41 (7) and 53 (5) of the Senate Standing Orders 2 (15) as amended.”
Order 1(a) of the Senate Standing Rules states: “The proceedings in the Senate and in all committees of the Senate shall be conducted in accordance with the following Standing Orders:
Order 41(7) of the Standing Rules states: “The Senate shall not receive any petition on any matter for which there is a judicial remedy.”
Also, Order 53(5) states: “Reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending in such a way as might, in the opinion of the president of the Senate, prejudice the interest of parties thereto.”
IGP Idris’ lawyer had a heated argument with senators, when he stopped the police boss from responding to questions raised by the committee chairman, Alimikhena.
He said: “I represent the IGP. I want to state that we have very high respect for the Senate. In pursuant of the invitation, we decided to be here to demonstrate that we have nothing to hide. I have gotten instructions from the IGP. We have responded to all the allegations raised, word-to-word, to the committee.
“This is an ad-hoc committee. There are rules. I am urging you to use your rules. In October 2015, a similar case arose between an ad-hoc committee and Rotimi Amaechi. Ethics committee was asked to investigate him. Because the case was before a court in Rivers State, the Senate suspended it.
“The Standing Rules of the Senate says that when a case is in court, any reference to it may be prejudice. Nigerians are interested in this. We are saying this in the interest of justice. We are not hiding anything at all. I am only drawing your attention to precedents set by the Senate.”
Izinyon’s response did not go down well with Senator Alimikhena, who responded angrily. He told Idris and his lawyer that the committee was set up before they went to court.
“You cannot tell us the FCT High Court has given an order. You cannot come here and tell us what you know. This is a committee set up by the Senate. It was set up before you went to court. The court is interfering with our work. Let us stick with the truth. The Senate is not out to witch-hunt anybody. If you are going to court, it does not stop the Senate from probing the virement made by the police boss. You cannot stop that,” he said.
Izinyon retorted: “The law is clear. If there is any virement, the Senate will not look at it. It is a criminal offence and it is not the Senate that should handle that.”
Senator Hope Uzodinma, who is also a member of the committee pleaded with Alimikhena to adjourn the hearing to allow the committee study the content of the written response of the IGP.
“I want to caution you. We are all statesmen in the country. We are all one. If we must succeed as a country, we must create a synergy where both arms must work together. The SAN, you must agree with me that this is not a law court. You will do us a favour to resolve differences between these parties.
“The Standing Rules says ‘if its the opinion of the Senate president.’ Are you the Senate president? This matter needs to be resolved in a manner that Nigerians will be happy. If we issue a warrant, the IGP will bring himself. I do not even know why the IGP cannot speak for himself.
“We want to see the allegations before us and see how we can resolve them, in the interest of the country. If the IGP is not in a position to speak, in my view, he can submit his defence. We can look into it and decide how to move forward. This is a parliament.”
Senator Obinna Ogba also appealed that the hearing be suspended.
“Having heard what the IGP said, I have seen some documents we need to study. I want to appeal to the chairman to give us time to study the documents and invite the IGP later,” he said.
Senators Joshua Lidani, Suleiman Hukunyi, Abdulaziz Nyako and Nelson Effiong who also spoke, called for an adjournment.
Lidani said: “I think it makes sense for us to study the documents. From the chairman’s reaction, it appears the preliminary objections will not be entertained. We have just been served this documents. We will study it. We will determine if you have been able to address the issues raised.
“Senator Misau raised the issue because he said his privileges were abused. It was not a public petition. We need time to look at the documents you submitted. If the issues are not adequately addressed, we will call you again. If there is no need, we will not call you. We are not witch-hunting anybody.”
Effiong, on his part, noted: “The IGP is an appointee of the president. Whatever the IGP does speaks volumes of the person of the president. Let us adjourn to look at the documents.”
Hukunyi remarked: “I think some key points have been highlighted, which I completely align with. One of them is the possibility of adjourning this meeting. He has read his own side, rightly or wrongly. The lawyer to the IGP may have to review some of the things he said. He said virement is a criminal offence. He is wrong. The executive is aware of this fact. It has been raised that part of the responsibility of this committee goes beyond the issues that are now in court. With due respect, as high as your office is, the nature of the issues raised is not good for the IGP or the Senate. These issues need to be cleared. This is the reason this committee was put in place.’
Senator Nyako added: “I think all of us should understand that the attitude here is not us versus them. We are not here to witch-hunt the executive. There are issues that have been raised. We need to address these allegations. At the end of the day, the police may even benefit more from this. We will study your documents and address the issues.”
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, told the committee that the presidency would explore a multi-door option in resolving the issue.
“We are glad for the warm reception. We are not here out of honour. We are here out of constitutional provisions. We respect the job and powers of the legislature. We thank you for inviting us. We also appreciate what you have said, that you want to have an adjournment. I am hoping that this adjournment will pursue other multi-door options to resolve this issues,” he said.
Alimikhena adjourned the committee’s sitting indefinitely. He, however, said the Senate has the power to entertain virement, saying the issue had nothing to do with the court.
“Coming here is your duty. When you are summoned by the parliament, you must come. It is a not a favour,” he said.
. I want to tell you that the issue of virement is the function of the parliament. It is not something that should be handled by the court.
This committee came up before you went to court. The court is interfering with our committee. If we need you again, you will respond,” he concluded.
In a related development, hundreds of protesters yesterday took over the entrance of the National Assembly to show solidarity with the IGP Idris.
The convener of the protest, Gloria Ugbeji, said such solidarity march was important based on the various reforms the police chief had brought to the service.
She said it was important for IGP Idris to be “left alone to focus on what he is doing.” (The Sun)
Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, is right now on his way to the National Assembly to honor the invitation by the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating compromise allegations against him and the Police Service Commission (PSC).
The IGP who has just concluded a meeting with some selected state commissioners of police over the forthcoming governorship elections in Anambra State is accompanied by members of the Police Management Team and an officer from the public relations department.
The Senate had on October 16 summoned the IGP to appear before it’s panel to respond to allegations against him by Senator Isah Misau.
Chairman of the committee, Francis Alimikhena, had threatened to issue a warrant of arrest of the IGP, after he failed to appear before it last Wednesday.
Police officers attached to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, have blocked journalists covering the Senate from gaining access to the venue of the ongoing probe of the police boss by a Senate adhoc committee.
The journalists, numbering over 15, were barred when they attempted to gain access to the venue, despite being officially invited by the adhoc committee. (The Sun)