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Monday, 19 March 2018

Benue: Police Counter Presidency, Say Inspector-General Idris Not Queried By Buhari

The police have strongly denied that President Muhammadu Buhari queried the Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris, following revelations that the police chief ignored a presidential directive to move to Benue State.

The police challenged “anyone” claiming Mr. Idris was queried by the president to produce an evidence.

A statement released by the presidency and later posted on Twitter using the @NGRPresident handle on Tuesday night said Mr. Buhari asked the police chief to explain why he flouted his order to relocate to Benue in the wakes of deadly attacks on villages that had left hundreds dead since January 1.

“Pres @MBuhari today summoned the Inspector-General of Police to explain his flouting of the presidential order to remain in Benue State. The President has also asked for a comprehensive report on Police Operations in the affected States,after which further decisions will be made,” the statement said.

It came a day after Mr. Buhari told Benue leaders he did not know that Mr. Idris did not relocate to Benue State as he directed in a January 9 correspondence, drawing widespread rebuke and calls for him to sack the police chief for insubordination.

Many Nigerians understood the summon and demand for explanation as a query by the president.

But as many were expecting the outcome of the query, reports emerged that the police IG did not receive any demand for explanation from Mr. Buhari, in a jarring contradiction of the presidency.

“The IGP was not queried,” police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood told THISDAY over the weekend. “Anybody that said the IGP was queried by the president should bring the copy of the query, let us display it.”

The presidency did not immediately respond to requests for comments about the police’s contradiction Monday morning.

If the police’s assertion holds true, the controversy could strengthen the arguments of Mr. Buhari’s critics that he lacks the political and administrative competence to sack errant appointees.

It could also support some claims that the president was aware that Mr. Idris did not go to Benue, but feigned ignorance. 

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