According to reports, the Nigeria Police Force has risen to the defence of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Idris Ibrahim, denying claims that the police boss donated two Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs, to the first lady, Aisha Buhari.
The force in a statement on Thursday said the vehicles, which it insisted were not SUVs, were given to police officers serving as aides to the wife of the President.
The senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Isa Misau, on Wednesday opened another can of worms when he accused Mr. Idris of donating two SUVs to the First Lady under yet unclear but alleged illegal circumstances.
The senator, who has been in the news lately after he accused the police boss of nepotism, tribalism, favouritism, cash for promotion and diversion of funds including involvement in amorous affairs with female junior officers, was recently charged to court for defamation of character and peddling of falsehood by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF.
Mr. Misau, a former cop, who was also accused of deserting the police by the spokesperson of the force, has however maintained that he was being victimised by the authorities for saying the truth.
Mr. Misau made the latest round of allegations when he appeared before the Senate ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the allegations levelled by the lawmaker against the IGP.
Mr. Misau explained how the IGP gave Mrs. Buhari the two cars, saying the details of the donation were contained in the documents the police boss submitted to the court in the suit instituted against him by the AGF, Abubakar Malami, on behalf of the Federal Government.
While Mrs. Buhari’s spokesperson, Suleiman Haruna, said he had no knowledge about the allegation, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said in a statement that the allegation was “baseless and outright falsehood”.
“It is pertinent to state that at no time did the Wife of the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs Aishat Buhari, requested (sic) directly or indirectly for vehicles for her use from the Inspector General of Police and no vehicle whether Jeep or SUV has ever been given for her personal use,” the statement said.
The statement said the police boss gave out two buses to the police aides of Mrs. Buhari for their official use and not as a donation to the first lady.
”It is within the powers of the Inspector General of Police that when on the 17th January, 2017, SP Sani M Baba –Inna, the ADC, “Wife of the President” Federal Republic of Nigeria requested for Two (2) vehicles for Police Personnel in the convoy of Wife of the President for convoy movement and security purposes. Two (2) Police Vehicles (i) A Toyota Sienna Bus with Reg. No. NPF 2406D (ii) A Toyota Hiace Bus with Reg. No. NPF 3363D were approved by the Inspector General of Police to the ADC “Wife of the President” SP Sani M Baba–Inna for the purposes requested and not to the person of the Wife of the President or for her personal use as alleged by Misau”, the statement noted.
The statement also countered another allegation made by Mr. Misau that Mr. Idris had manipulated his retirement age. It said it was a bureacratic error and not deliberate as insinuatd by Mr. Misau.
“IGP’s retirement age, Misau’s allegations were ill-motive, for avoidance of doubt, the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Force Secretary Office wrote the Chairman, Police Service Commission on the 18th of January, 2017 drawing the attention of the Commission to the observation on the current Staff List of Senior Police Officers whereby the date of birth of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni was incorrectly stated as 3/01/1959 instead of the actual date 15/01/1959. All documents and records of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni has 15/01/1959 as his date of birth except the staff list Senior Police Officers and this is the reason why the approval of the Honourable Chairman, Police Service Commission, for correction of the error was sought in this regard,” the statement said.
The statement had an attachment of a letter written to the Force Secretary of the Police Service Commission to ensure the stated correction in dates.
“The difference of dates between 3/01/1959 and 15/01/1959 is just Twelve (12) days which is very insignificant in Thirty Five (35) years that a public servant can be in service. Attached is letter Ref No. CH.7080/FS/FHQ/ABJ/SUB.3/30 dated 18th January, 2017 written by the Force Secretary to the Honourable Chairman Police Service Commission on the subject matter for media ease of reference.”