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THE NATION

Govs To Appoint State Police CPs As Senate Unveils New Masterplan

As controversy continued to trail moves for the  establishment of state police and regional security outfits might soon , Nigeria’s  Senate has begun the constitutional process of unbundling the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The bill to restructure Nigeria’s policing architecture sponsored by former Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu, seeks, among other things, to establish the Nigerian Federal Police, National Police Service Commission, National Police Council, state police and State Police Service Commission.

Daily Sun learnt that the bill would be read at plenary this week and would be further worked on by the recently-constituted 1999 Constitution Review Committee.

In the bill, the federal police, as it currently exists, would be restructured, with the mandate and responsibility of the maintenance of public security, preservation of public order and security of persons and property across states of the federation to the extent provided for under the Constitution or by an act of the National Assembly.

Also, the bill advocates the establishment of state police to 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.

On state police, the bill made provisions for the following: “A commissioner 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. He shall be in office for a period of five years only, or until he attains a retirement age prescribed by law, whichever is earlier. The governor may give to the commissioner of police such lawful directives with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the commissioner of police shall comply with those directives. The decision of the State Police Service Commission shall be final and shall not be inquired into by any court.”

 

The proposed law states that the removal of a state commissioner of police must be approved by two-thirds members of the House of Assembly.

In the proposed law, the new National Police Service Commission shall comprise a chairman to be appointed by the President, subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

Others on the commission include “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 to be appointed by the president of the Nigerian Bar Association; a representative of the Nigerian Union of Journalists to be appointed by the president of the Nigerian Union of Journalist; and the attorney-generals of each of the states.”

Ekweremadu, who hails from Enugu State, has been in the Senate since 2003, and headed the Constitution Review Committee for 12 years when he held sway as Deputy President of the Senate.

The bill also prescribes those who should populate state commissions. It proposed “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.

The state commission shall be responsible for “recommending the appointment of a commissioner of police, deputy commissioner of police and assistant commissioner of police to the National Police Service Commission.”

 

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