The Senate has rejected the report by its Ad hoc Committee mandated to find out why the Inspector General of Police (IGP) did not comply with an earlier directive from the Senate to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of killings in Benue State.
The Upper Chamber rejected the report presented by the Chairman of the committee Senator Abu Ibrahim for failing to speak with the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, to get his own side of the security issues in the state.
The Upper Chamber has refused to consider the report, instructing the committee to speak with the state governor and report back in one week.
The Senate had on January 16, 2018, issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris, to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of the Benue attacks that led to the death of over 73 persons.
The two chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday, condemned the wanton attacks by suspected herdsmen as they resumed plenary for the first time this year.
On its part, the House of Representatives also noted that it will set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the killings in Benue and other states of the country and report back in four weeks.
The House had advised the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Idris Ibrahim, to apologise to Gov. Samuel Otom of Benue over a derogatory statement by Force Spokesman, Mr Moshood Jimoh.
This was sequel to an urgent motion of national importance by Rep. Mark Gbiallah (Benue-APC) at plenary on Wednesday.
Moving the motion, Gbillah recalled that sequel to recent murder of 73 people in Benue, including pregnant women and children, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the Inspector-General to relocate to the state and apprehend the perpetrators.
He said that rather than apprehend the killers, the IGP allegedly blamed the killing on the recently enacted Anti-Open Grazing Law in the state and called for its suspension.
The lawmaker also alleged that Jimoh, also referred to Otom as a “drowning man”, while speaking on a live programme on a national television.
Gbiallah said the PRO refused to retract the statement even when the presenter of the programme demanded that he did so.
In his contribution, Rep. Johnson Oghuma (Edo-APC) said Jimoh was the image maker of the police and that whatever he said was the position of the organisation.
He said the IGP and the entire force took responsibility for the comment since neither him nor the organisation had distanced themselves from the statement.
Also, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (Rivers-PDP) blamed the problem on lack of respect for the rule of law.
Chinda said that peace and security could not be guaranteed where there was no justice and urged law enforcement agencies to ensure justice in enforcing the law.
Rep. Jimoh Olajide (Lagos-APC) said that the statement credited to the PRO was “unprofessional’’ as law enforcement agencies should not be seen to be breaking the law.
He said it was not acceptable for an officer trained with tax payers’ money to make such derogatory comments on national television.
Rep. Mohammed Mongonu (Borno-APC) said the police needed re-orientation that would change the mindset of its officers and men.
He said that it was the duty of the police to enforce laws in line with the concept of the rule of law and not to tell which law was good or bad.
On his part, Rep. Emmanuel Okereke-Jev (Benue-APC) stressed the need to revisit the idea of establishing State Police.
He said that the killings in Benue could also occur in other states and urged members to support the motion to stem the situation.