Vote Of No Confidence Resolution: Senate, Saraki Shun IGP’s Suit

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Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Senate President and the Senate, Wednesday, shunned a suit seeking to quash the May 9 resolution of the Senate which declared the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, unfit to retain his position.

This is even as the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court headed by Justice John Tsoho, Wednesday fixed September 25 to deliver judgment on the matter.

Neither the Senate nor Saraki sent a legal representative or filed any brief in response to the suit which the IGP lodged before the the high court to challenge the powers of the Respondents to pass a vote of no confidence against him.

Specifically, the IGP, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/554/2018, prayed the court to bar the Senate from taking further steps with regards to the resolution.

Following the absence of the Respondents in court for hearing of the suit, Justice Tsoho gave the IGP the nod to adopt his processes, after which he adjourned the case for judgment.

The court said it was satisfied that counsel to the Police boss, Dr. Alex Iziyon, SAN, duly served all the relevant processes, as well as the hearing notice, on the Respondents.

Justice Tsoho had on June 7, ordered that the Respondents should be served through the Clerk of the National Assembly.

It will be recalled that the Senate had in the said resolution it passed on May 9, declared the police boss as unfit for any public office following his repeated refusal to appear before it to answer questions pertaining to the spate of killings across the country and the inhuman treatment allegedly meted out to the lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye.

Insisting that the action of the IGP was a threat to democracy, the Senate declared him persona non grata and resolved to notify the international community, embassies, the country’s international partners and Interpol of its decision.

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However, the IGP dismissed the resolution against him as a deliberate blackmail and witch-hunt, insisting he had backing of the law to send a senior officer of the Force of the Rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police or an Assistant Inspector General of Police to represent him before the Senate.

In the suit, the IGP applied for, “An order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the respondents, whether by itself, or through its servant, agents and or privies, whatsoever from acting on the said resolution contained in the gazette dated 9th May, 2018 or causing same to be acted upon by any person or authority or government agency, or carrying out similar or like resolution against the applicant”.

He equally sought a declaration that the respondents acted ultra vires its Powers under section 88 and 89 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) in the votes and proceedings leading to the resolution contained in the gazette dated May 9, 2018, imposing a penal sanction on the applicant.

Likewise an order of court quashing the entire votes and proceedings and by implication, the resolution of the Senate that led to the resolution contained in the gazette declaring him as enemy of democracy and unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.

He argued that the respondents lacked the competence and or jurisdiction to impose penal sanction on him under section 88 and 89 of the Nigerian constitution, adding that the conduct of the respondents throughout the votes and proceedings that led to the said resolution contained in the gazette was palpable of bias, deep-rooted prejudiced, visible hatred and disguised contempt for the applicant.

The IGP contended that action of the Senate constituted a legislative judgment.

In a 15-paragraphed affidavit he filed in support of the suit, Idris, told the court that he received the respondents letter dated April 25 inviting him to appear before the Senate.

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He said he could not honour the invitation because of his engagement in a trip involving the president, and consequently delegated his subordinate, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations and to others whom according to him had “adequate direct knowledge of the two subject matters” relating to the invitation.

He said the respondents, however, refused to accept his representatives and adjourned plenary to 2nd May, 2018, “with a stern warning that the applicant must appear or face the consequences.

Based on the above development, according to IGP, the respondents passed the said resolution declaring him an enemy of democracy and someone unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.