The news on Social Media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) credited to the Senate that it would withdraw the Police Budget to which the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, threatens to withdraw Police escorts, is fake.
The speculations are coming following IGP Idris refusal to appear before the red Chambers, after being summoned for the third time, for which the lawmakers declared him an “enemy of democracy” and unfit to hold any public office.
“The Senate views his persistent refusal as a great danger to our democracy. The Senate has, therefore, resolved to declare the IGP an enemy of our democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.”
Idris has also issued a Statement, alleging that the Senate is planning to witch-hunt him, but he would not be intimidated.
“It is important to correct the impression created in the minds of the people from the Senate’s resolution that the IGP is not and will not be an enemy to democracy.
“It is also of significant note to state that IGP Ibrahim K. Idris has served meritoriously for above 10 years in the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations in several Countries unblemished. The Nigeria Police Force is the first defender of Democracy and all democratic institutions in Nigeria and will continue to do so.”
The incident is responsible for the speculations making the round on Social Media that read; “Senate to IGP: we will withdraw Police budget, IGP to Senate: I will withdraw Police escorts.”
Checks by ETN24 prove the statement to be untrue as nothing of such exchange of words transpired between the Senate and IGP Idris.
The last time Senate threatened to withhold budget was in March when it did not receive audit report from over 200 government parastatals and the issue was resolved.
The last time the Police withdrew security men from those who should have them was in November 2017 when it withdrew men from Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and was given instruction by both the Senate and the Presidency to restore the security detail.
Although IGP Idris, like his predecessors, had earlier directed the withdrawal of Police orderlies from private individuals and companies, he later postponed the directive, with the deadline past, the order is yet to be in implemented and is unrelated to Senators.
In February, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) of Zone 5, Mr Rasheed Adekunle said 80% of the Force are providing security details for private individuals.
“Every big man wants personal security. They want a good number of Policemen secure them, instead of supporting the Police to work and ensure a safer environment. Honourables want Police security, unfortunately, even Reverend Fathers, Bishops nowadays want Police security. That is why only 20 per cent of men of the Police Force are left to cover the whole Country. If we can muster Policemen in some Government formations and deploy them to work on their core duties, it will yield positive results.”
Police orderlies and Politicians
In 2017, a study conducted by Daily-Trust revealed that 7,956 Policemen are attached with the 36 States Governors.
Similarly, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has 67 police personnel to himself; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has about 80, while members of the red Chambers has at least one Police detail each.
In the lower legislative Chamber, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has about 30, while his Deputy and other Principal Officers have more than two policemen attached to each.
The study also stated that Public officials entitled to Police Protection are President, Vice President, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Governors, Deputy Governors, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Head of Service of the Federation.
Also entitled to Police guards are President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Speakers of State Houses of Assembly and Deputy Speakers of State Houses of Assembly.
Others are Ministers, President of the Court of Appeal, Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge and Grand Khadi of a State, President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Chairmen of a Local Government Areas, Vice Chairmen and Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).