EXPLAINER: Inside details of bill seeking to create state police across Nigeria

Senators in Plenary
Senate in Plenary

A senator has proposed the State Police Bill for consideration and passage by the Senate.

The bill, sponsored by 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, will 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 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 newspaper, shows that the bill will allow an independent state police in 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.

Ike Ekweremadu [Photo: THISDAYLIVE]
Ike Ekweremadu
Specifics

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.

For instance, the commissioner of state 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.

The document further reveals that an Act of the National Assembly may prescribe a bi-annual certification review of the activities of the 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.

Removal of commissioner of state police

A state police commissioner shall only be removed by the governor upon the recommendation of the National Police Service Commission praying that he be so removed on any of the following grounds:

* Misconduct in the performance of his official duties.

*Serious breach of policing standards.

* Conviction of any offence by a court of law or tribunal, including administrative tribunals set up by the police authorities for internal disciplining of police officers.

* Indictment by a judicial body or tribunal for corruption, fraud, embezzlement or other unacceptable conducts in office.

* Bankruptcy.

* Mental Incapacity.

* Participation in political activities of any kind either within or outside the state and including sponsoring or giving aid to any political group of movement.

It is however, provided that such removal shall be subject to approval by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State.

The National Police Service Commission shall comprise:

* A Chairman to be appointed by the President subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

* Two members representing the National Human Rights Commission.

* One representative of the Public Complaints Commission.

* A representative of the Nigerian Labour Congress to be appointed by the president of the Nigerian Labour Congress.

* Six retired police officers not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police representing each of the geo-political zones of the country to be appointed by the president subject to confirmation of the Senate.

* A representative of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to be appointed by the president of the NBA.

* A representative of the Nigerian Union of Journalists to be appointed by the president of the Union.

* The Attorney General of each of the States of the Federation.

Functions of National Police Service Commission

The functions of the commission includes

* The appointment of persons to offices (other than office of the Inspector-General of Police) in the Federal Police.

* Exercising disciplinary control over members of the Federal Police.

* Recommending to the governor of a state, the appointment of the Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioners of Police and Assistant Commissioners of Police of the State Police based on a list submitted to it by the State Police Service Commission of the relevant state and subject to confirmation by the House of Assembly of the State.

* Recommending to the Governor, the discipline and removal of the Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioners of Police and Assistant Commissioners of Police of the State Police.

* Supervising the activities of the Federal Police and State Police to the extent provided for in this constitution or by an Act of the National Assembly.

* Prescribing standards for all police forces in the country in training, criminal intelligence data bases, forensic laboratories and render assistance to State Police in areas as may be requested by such State Police.

The State Police Service Commission shall comprise:

* A Chairman to be appointed by the Governor subject to the confirmation of the State House of Assembly.

* A representative of the Federal Government to be appointed by the National Police Service Commission.

* Two members to be appointed by the National Human Rights Commission who must be indigenes of the respective state.

* One representative of the Public Complaints Commission.

* A representative of the Nigerian Labour Congress to be appointed by the chairman of the state branch.

* Three retired police officers to be appointed by the Governor one from each senatorial zone of the state subject to confirmation of the State House of Assembly.

* A representative of the Nigerian Bar Association to be appointed by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association who must be a lawyer from the respective state.

* A representative of the Nigerian Union of Journalists to be appointed by the chairman of the state branch.

Functions of the State Police Service Commission includes

* Recommending the appointment of a Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Assistant Commissioner of Police to the National Police Service Commission.

* The appointment, discipline and removal of members of the state police below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police; and other functions and powers of the commission as may be specified either in the Constitution or a Law of the House of Assembly of a State.

* In recommending the appointment of a Commissioner of Police, the Commission shall propose three qualified candidates to the National Police Service Commission.

Coronavirus Quiz:



Coronavirus factsheet


Advertisement

PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...



BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.