Senator proposes State Police Bill

Nigerian Senate President, Ahmed Lawan
Nigerian Senate President, Ahmed Lawan
The Senate will Tuesday receive for first reading a State Police Bill, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The bill, sponsored by a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu), seeks to establish the Federal Police, State Police, National Police Service Commission, National Police Council, and State Police Service Commission for the states.

The bill, after deliberation, is expected to be sent to the Constitution Review Committee.

It was first introduced to the eighth Senate on June 12, 2018 but did not scale through. Mr Ekweremadu was the chairman of the constitution review committee at the time.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how he and other lawmakers spent N8 billion in a failed constitution amendment.

Details of the proposed legislation seen by this paper, shows that the bill will allow an independent state police for which the governors would be empowered to appoint commissioners of police in their states.

According to the bill, the existing federal police will be restructured and be responsible for the maintenance of public security, preservation of public order and security of persons and property throughout the federation to the extent provided for under the constitution or by an Act of the National Assembly.

The South-west recently set up a regional security outfit network, Amotekun, to address rising insecurity in the area. This set it on a collision course with the federal government, which accused it of illegality.

The states have soft-pedalled and since gone back to their state assemblies to give the idea a legal backing.

Details

The bill further states that the State Police shall be organised and administered in accordance with such provisions as may be prescribed by a Law of the House of Assembly of a State subject to the framework and guidelines established by an Act of the National Assembly.

The commissioner of police:

*Shall be appointed by the governor of the state on the advice of the National Police Service Commission, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the House of Assembly of the State.

* Shall be in office for a period of five years only or until he attains a retirement age prescribed by law, whichever is earlier.

* Shall be given lawful directives with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary by the governor and the Commissioner of Police shall comply with those directives.

* Where the Commissioner of Police feels that any order given is unlawful or contradicts general policing standards or practice, he may request that the matter be referred to the State Police Service Commission for review.

* The decision of the State Police Service Commission shall be final and shall not be inquired into by any court.

Others

The document further reveals that an Act of the National Assembly may prescribe a bi-annual ‘certification review’ of the activities of State Police by the National Police Service Commission.

This, it said, is to ensure they meet up with approved national standards and guidelines of policing and their operations do not undermine national integrity, promote ethnic, tribal or sectional agenda or marginalise any segment of the society within the state.


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