October 17, 2017
ON THE GRAND CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS BY SENATOR HAMMAN ISA MISAU AGAINST THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, IBRAHIM IDRIS AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION MR. MIKE OKIRO:
A JOINT CIVIL SOCIETY RESPONSE TO THE LINGERING ACCUSATIONS AND COUNTER ACCUSATIONS BETWEEN SENATOR MISAU AND THE IGP AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S POSTURE
We, the undersigned representatives of key civil society organisations spread across Nigeria, have watched with serious concern, the failure of the Federal Government to address the serious allegations of grand corruption made by Senator Hamman Isa Misau, representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District against the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission Mr. Mike Okiro, respectively.
In the past three months, through interviews in the media and on the floor of the Senate, Senator Misau has consistently accused the IGP of grand corruption, abuse of office and predatory sexual misconduct against serving female officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). He has also accused the Chairman of the Police Service Commission of complicity in the corruption and irregularities surrounding police promotion. Additionally, Senator Misau has accused both the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC of deviating from the guidelines for police promotion, discarding the requirements of merit and equity in favour of nepotism, favouritism and bribery.
In response, the IGP claims that Senator Misau, a former Police Officer, deserted from the NPF and forged documents related to his disengagement from the Force. The PSC in September confirmed that the Senator’s retirement letter was regular. The Senate has, nevertheless, established ad-hoc committees to investigate Senator Misau’s allegations and the counter-allegations from the NPF.
The Senate’s prompt response in setting up the ad hoc committees is welcome. We hope that the investigation will be prompt, impartial and exhaustive, and that the outcome will be made public.
Unlike the Senate, however, the Presidency has remained silent in the face of these grievous and lingering corruption allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC. Under the Constitution, the Police Act and the PSC Act, the President has primary supervisory responsibility over the IGP and the PSC. The police is the primary law enforcement agency in Nigeria. Fighting corruption is President Buhari’s signature commitment. Therefore, when allegations of crime and flagrant breach of the law are brought against the IGP, we expect the President to treat them seriously. Rather, his silence in this case has been deafening.
Senator Misau’s allegation reinforce similar allegation contained in earlier petitions to the President against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC by notable civil society organisations, including NOPRIN, Access to Justice, and CSNAC. None of these petitions were acknowledged. Curiously, as soon as the Senate set up the ad hoc committee into the allegations against the IGP, the executive responded by filing criminal charges against the Senator ‘for making injurious statements against the IGP Ibrahim Idris’.
The failure of the President to address these allegations is damaging to morale and discipline in the NPF and makes his anti-corruption agenda questionable. Police officers themselves have been grumbling and expressing their grievances through petitions over what they describe as irregularities and favouritism in police promotion which have seen many of them stagnate on the same rank for as long as ten and more years while their mates and even juniors are promoted, sometimes two or three times over them. It also has grave implications for public safety and security as disgruntled police officers are predisposed to taking out their frustrations on fellow citizens becoming predators rather than protectors and undermining national security.
We call on President Buhari to live up to his constitutional responsibilities and demonstrate commitment to genuinely fight corruption in the country by supporting efforts to get to the roots of the grave allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC and to ensure that they are appropriately sanctioned in accordance with the law if they are found culpable.
Okechukwu Nwanguma, NOPRIN Foundation
Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Spaces for Change
Abdul Mahmud Esq., President, Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL)
Z. N. Senbanjo Esq., Executive Director, Confluence of Rights
Uche Wisdom Durueke, President, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO)
Eze Onyekpere, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ)
Dr. Chima Amadi, The Centre for Transparency Advocacy
Olanrewaju Suraju, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
David O Anyaele, Executive Director, Center for Citizens With Disability (CCD)
Justus Ijeomah, International Human Rights and Equity Defence Foundation (I-REF)
Inibehe Effiong, Member, Steering Committee, Movement Against Corruption (MAC)
Walter Duru Ph. D, Executive Director, Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIVOC)
Mimidoo Achakpa, Executive Director, Right to Education Project
Sam Akpologun Esq., Legal Practitioner, Human Rights Activist
Reverend David Ugolor, The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ)
Esther Proactive Gender Initiatives
Debo Adeniran, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL)
Justin Ijeoma, Executive Director, Human Rights Social Development and Environmenta l Foundation (HURSDEF)
Nma Odi, Alliance for Credible Elections