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Suspend constitution of Police Trust Fund Board immediately, HURIWA urges Buhari

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FILE PHOTO: Officers of the Nigerian Police force. PHOTO: Getty Images

…Says Constitution Does Not Reflect State Interest, Federal Character

A pro-democracy and non-governmental organization, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately suspend the recent approval given for the constitution of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Board.

It said the suspension of the board would allow for the accommodation of state interests and reflection of the Federal Character in the commanding height and management of the fund.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it is a universal truism that the policing institution of any nation will determine to a substantial extent the collective wellbeing of that sovereign entity and it is the efficiency, effectiveness, and result in oriented characters of such policing institution that defines the nature of the rule of law of such a nation-state.

The Rights group argued that in constituting this trust fund, there is no attempt to involve the states of the federation, contrary to widely held views that the police force is actually a common agency of all tiers of government, particularly the states and federal government.

HURIWA added that the fact remains that the states as the federating units have significantly shouldered the tasks of substantially funding and equipping the respective branches of the national policing institution in these subnational levels, noting that there is little doubt that the state governments have remained a strategic funding partner and backbone of the national policing institution for decades.

“We strongly advise, and indeed most respectfully urge, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to immediately recall the recent approval given for the constitution of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund pursuant to the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Establishment Act 2019, in the national interest, to accommodate state interests and to the reflect the federal character of Nigeria in the commanding height and management of the fund.

“The states and federal government have powers to make laws and enforce them. The Police Force is the only coercive authority available to all the governments to enforce their laws. That is why the Nigeria Police Council which has a constitutional mandate for “the organization and administration of the Nigeria Police Force”, is chaired by Mr. President and has all State Governors as members, and in the appointment or removal of the Inspector General of Police, the President shall consult the Nigeria Police Council.

“And so for the avoidance of doubt if the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Establishment Act 2019, has no state representation, creative ways should be devised to ensure that the states are properly represented, or in the alternative to amend the Act to achieve same.

“In any case, the States of the federation have been bearing a disproportionate share of the funding and equipping of the Nigerian Police as the police contingents in the various states are not provided with basic funding to operate and deliver on their mandate by the federal government, ” the statement noted.

HURIWA, however warned the federal government that if it fails in suspending the Constitution of the Police Trust Fund Board within 78 hours it will mobilise other CSOs to institute a suit at the competent court of law.

“HURIWA is by this media Statement serving a notice that we will mobilize the Nigerian organized civil Rights community to institute a suit at the competent Court of law if after 78 hours of this publication of our statement the President fails to do the needful, ” it said.


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