Human Rights lawyer and executive director of Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Mr Clement Nwankwo, has asked the Inspector General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, to respect Nigeria’s constitutionally guaranteed principles of separation of powers and avoid enmeshing himself in unprofessional partisan political actions.
Nwankwo in a statement, said it was bizarre, outrageous and unacceptable for a police officer functioning as part of the executive arm of government to assume the garb of a judicial officer and embark on an unsolicited and ridiculous voyage of pronouncing interpretations to provisions of the Constitution as to declare the seat of an elected member and Speaker of the House of Representatives vacant.
According to the human rights lawyer, the IG’s action in further proceeding to withdraw police protection to the Speaker was a brazen and crass display of bias and partisanship which threatens the responsibility and duty of the police to maintain neutrality and avoid taking sides in the struggle amongst politicians contesting for political power.
Nwankwo called on the IGP to immediately restore police protection to the Speaker and avoid further acts of impunity and abuse of police powers which he is supposed to hold in public trust and with accountability to Nigerians.
Furthermore, Nwankwo said it was the duty and responsibility of the members of the House of Representatives to take action to remove their Speaker where they find it appropriate to do so and not that of the police, obviously acting at the prompting of and under pressure of his appointing bosses.