Members of the Police Committee of the House of Representatives today walked out on Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), Sulaiman Abba, for showing respect to the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.
Mr. Abba had appeared before the committee after several days of ignoring their invitation, but the meeting, which was chaired by Usman Bello Kumo, quickly grew hostile after the IGP, in his opening statement about the events of last week, said that “one Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal” had led a group of thugs to overpower police security at the first gate of the House.
It would be recalled that in defiance of police efforts, members of the House climbed a fence to get into the premises for a meeting.
Of the police invasion of the premises on the day in question, Mr. Abba rehashed the Force’s initial statement that they had credible intelligence that some “thugs” planned to cause mayhem at the resumed sitting of the House. He explained that the events at the first gate compelled his men to lock down the second gate and to fire a canister of teargas.
However, his reference to the Speaker of the House merely as “one Alhaji Tambuwal” attracted the anger of the committee members who asked the IGP to address the Speaker as required by protocol.
In response, the IGP curiously stated that the case of the Speaker was in court, and that he wouldn’t like to comment further on it.
The committee members, undeterred, refused to proceed with the hearing unless the IGP addressed the speaker properly. They also declared that as long as he refused to do so, they too, would no longer recognize him as IGP.
In the rancorous argument that followed, the Representatives walked out on the police boss.
The prolonged argument brought the meeting to a standstill and eventually a rancorous end as members walked out on the IGP.