*As Bill passes second reading
By Ignatius Okorocha
To actualize the agitation for state police by most Nigerians,Senate on Thursday passed to second reading a Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the 1999.
The bill is one of the legislative proposals seeking to alter the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
It is entitled, “A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the establishment of Sate Police and other related Matters, 2020 (SB. 316)”.
The bill is being sponsored by the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who represents Enugu West Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The bill among others, seeks to establish the Federal Police, State Police, National Police Service Commission, National Police Council, and State Police Service Commission for the States.
According to the bill, the Federal Police shall 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.
It also 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 bill further provides for Commissioner of State Police, who 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.
According to the bill, the State Police Commissioner shall be in office for a period of five years only or until he attains a retirement age prescribed by law, whichever is earlier.
Part of the bill reads: “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.
“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.
“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 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 marginalize any segment of the society within the state”.