State Police Bill: Basic Information [+How to Prevent Governors’ Misuse]

State Police Bill: Basic Information [+How to Prevent Governors’ Misuse]

Hi,

In this blogpost we will be analyzing the State Police Bill currently in the Nigerian House of Representatives, Abuja.

State Police Creation in Nigeria

A bill named State Police Creation Bill is being considered in the National Assembly. The bill, if passed into law, will ammend the section of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution that gave policing rights only to the Federal Government;

  • the bill will take policing from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List allowing both Federal and State Governments to have their polices.
  • the bill will also empower each state to create its State Police Service Commission which will be chaired by the Governor.

Sponsor: Hon. Rep Onofiok Luke ( Entinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency)

Rep.Onofiok Luke,Sponsor of the State Police Bill in Nigeria
Rep Onofiok Luke, Sponsor of the State Police Bill

Updates on the State Police Bill

The state police bill has passed the second reading which means that it has been read on the floor of the House of Representatives by the sponsor, Honourable Rep Onofiok Luke.

The next stage will be committee stage that will refer the bill to a committee to look into and recommend any change necessary.

You can track the state police bill
by clicking on the hyperlink.

State Police in Nigeria: Importance and Effects

  1. Security Improvement: State Police in Nigeria will reduce the rate of insecurity in Nigeria by at least 50 per cent as in combing the forests, borders and local high ways police.
  2. Police Decentralization: The Governors will be able to maintain security in their states as they now have more control of the state security unlike when the Police Commissioner in the state must take permission from the IG of Police (Inspector-General).
  3. Federalism Improvement: This will enable local autonomy for the stateholders of Nigeria and will help Nigeria to reflect true federalism.

State Police in Nigeria: Implications and Challenges

Fear of State Governors’ Misuse

Many Nigerians and political analysts have voiced fears as regarding the creation of state police because they believe that it will be misused by the Governors. Cases such as Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and the Kaduna Labour imbroglio add weight to this viewpoint.

How to Prevent Governors From Misusing State Police

To address the misuse of state police by the Governors, I came up with an inspiration—— democratization of states.

Can the Federal Government misuse the Nigeria Police Force?

Theoritically, no, because the National Assembly, the Supreme Court is relatively free from the President.

Practically, yes, because of some of the provisions of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution which gives injustice an edge over justice

So,we need both the theoretical and the practical part.

  1. True separation of powers of the State Executive’s Governor, the State House of Assembly and the State High Court——Theoritical.
  2. The establishment of State Police Service Commissions chaired by elected civilians who directs the state police on management issues only—-Practical.
  3. The State High Court structure should be made bouyant in the state.

List of State Polices in Nigeria

The State police bill will likely convert the existing security networks into full-fledged police outfits.

  • Western Nigeria Security Network, Operation Amotekun (Leopard) in the South-West Geopolitical zone.
  • Eastern Security Network and Ebube Agu in the South-East geopolitical zone
  • Hisbah Police in the North- West zone
  • Civilian Joint Task Force in the North-East

What else do you suggest should be included in the state police bill to prevent Governor’s misuse?

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Article by VisionaryDemola
I am a politics blogger, a policy analyst and a political commentator.
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