A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Debo Adeleke has instituted a suit against the Senate President and his Deputy, Ike Ekeremadu, before a Federal High Court, Abuja, for declaring the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mr Ibrahim Idris Kpotum ‘unfit to hold position in and outside Nigeria and an enemy of democracy’.
Other respondent in the suit; is the Senate arm of National Assembly as the first respondent
The applicant in the suit marked ABJ/CS/566/2018, is seeking an order of court declaring that the National Assembly, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekeremadu not being court of law, lack jurisdiction and powers to declare IGP a persona-non -grata and unfit to hold public office within and outside Nigeria and an enemy of democracy.
The lawyer also asks for a declaration of the court that the power of the Senate or National Assembly to invite a public officer under its power of investigation in Section 88 of 1999 Constitution (as amended), is limited and it is only to enable it to make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defect in the existing laws; and expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.
The applicant is also seeking for a court declaration that even though, the Senate or the National Assembly lack the requisite power to summon the IGP as declared above, the IGP was ably represented by Deputy Inspector-General of Police by virtue of Section 312(1) of Police Act and Regulation, law made by National Assembly.
The petitioner added that the invitation of IGP over the arrest and arraignment of Senator Dino Melaye is subjudice and undue interference with police constitutional power of investigation, arrest and arraignment of suspects.
In his 27 paragraph affidavit to support his originating summon, Adeleke averred that he instituted the suit to defend and uphold the sanctity of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, noting that it is of public interest.
He added that what prompted the suit was the Senate declaration of the IGP, Mr. Ibrahim Idris Kpotum a ‘persona non grata’, unfit to hold public position within and outside Nigeria, and enemy of democracy due to the IGP’s inability to personally honour Senate invitation to appear before it.
He also stated that the said declaration was made consequent upon IGP’s inability to appear personally before the Senate plenary on three consecutive times to explain the circumstances surrounding the arrest of one of its members, Dino Melaye and killing across the Nigeria.
The applicant also stated that the summons of the IGP by the Senate on three occasions, which the IGP was unable to attend due to being on special assignment with President Muhammadu Buhari, and that non appearance of the IGP on the last summoned date, May 9, 2018, led the Senate to declare him a persona -non -grata, unfit to hold public position, and enemy of democracy.
Adeleke further stated that as a lawyer, summoning the IGP over the arrest and arraignment of Dino Melaye, is an undue interference with police operation and duties of investigation, arrest and arraignment of suspects.
He added that the Senate interrogation of IGP over the arrest and arraignment of Melaye, a matter subject of litigation is tantamount to usurpation of judicial powers of the judiciary, another independent arm of government.
The lawyer also averred that the IGP out of respect sent DIG Operations to represent him at Senate plenary, but was denied representation by the Senate, and that he knows that DIG Operations is competent under Police Act, a law made by the same National Assembly to represent the IGP.
Following the above averment, the applicant asked the court to declare that the Senate or the National Assembly, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Ike Ekeremadu, not being a court, lack the jurisdiction and powers to declare the IGP a persona- non -grata, and unfit to hold public office within and outside Nigeria and enemy of democracy.
He also wants the court to declare that the invitation of the IGP over the arrest and arraignment of Senator Dino Melaye is subjudice and undue interference with police constitutional power of investigation, arrest, and arraignment of suspects.
Meanwhile, respondents are yet to file their defence to the suit.