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Ekweremadu hopeful Buhari will approve state police

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Nigeria deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu Wednesday expressed hopes that President Muhammadu Buhari will approve the establishment of state and local government police in the country.

Buhari received a report on the reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Monday, June 3 by National Human Rights Commission Committee on SARS.

“I…hope that the eventual Government White Paper on the report will uphold the recommendation for decentralised policing as a fundamental measure in tackling the nation’s security challenges,” Ekweremadu said in a Facebook post.

Presidential spokesman Gerba Shehu in a statement disclosed that the President directed the setting up of a three-man panel to produce a report and a white paper produced within three months.

He noted that the report of the committee will form the basis of recommendation on setting up of state and local government police in Nigeria.

However, Ekweremadu, who sponsored the state police bill in the Nigeria Senate, said he is confident that implementation of state and local government police in Nigeria will address security challenges in the country.

“It is noteworthy that the Bill addresses the usual public concerns over the possible abuse of subnational police structures by the Governors,” Ekweremadu said.

“I believe it qualifies as part of the major agenda of the 9th National Assembly.”

The panel, inaugurated by the National Human Rights Commission after a presidential directive, was set-up to look into the activities of the SARS and make recommendations for its reform.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo while acting as the president in August 2018 order an overhaul the management and activities of SARS.

The security outfit has been widely accused of highhandedness and extra-judicial killings.

It was the subject of #EndSARS, an intense online campaign that called for its dissolution and morphed into street protests in different parts of the country. There were also counter-demonstrations.

Osinbajo subsequently directed the NHRC to set up a panel to investigate the alleged unlawful activities of the squad.


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