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The blunder in not having state police – Part 3

By Eric Teniola
20 July 2022   |   2:49 am
The Legislature may make provisions during emergencies for Police Forces forming part of the armed forces of the Federation, or for the protection of harbours, waterways railways and airfields.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba. Photo/FACEBOOKTHENIGERIAPOLICE

Continued from yesterday

No police forces other than the Nigeria Police Force shall be established for Nigeria or any part thereof.

5. The Legislature may make provision during emergencies for Police Forces forming part of the armed forces of the Federation, or for the protection of harbours, waterways railways and airfields.

6. There shall be an Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police and a Commissioner of Police for each state of the Federation, whose offices shall be offices in the Public Service of the Federation.

7. The Nigeria Police Force shall be under the command of the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police.

8. The President or such other Minister of the Government of the Federation as may be authorised on that behalf by the President may give to the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police such directions with respect to the maintaining and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary and the Inspector-General shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with.

9. Subject to (3) above, the Commissioner of Police of a State shall comply with the directions of the Governor of the State or such other Commissioner of the Government of the State as may be authorised on that behalf by the Governor with respect to the maintaining and securing of public safety and public order within the State or cause them to be complied with: Provided that before carrying out any such directions the Commissioner may request that the matter should be referred to the President or such other Commissioner of the Government of the Federation as may be authorised in that behalf by the President for his directions.

10. Subject to (3) and (4) above the Police Command at the local authority area shall comply with the directions of the local authority of the area with respect to the maintaining and securing of public safety and public order within the local authority area. Provided that before carrying out such directions the local police command may request that the matter should be referred to the Governor of the state or other Commissioner of the State Government as may be authorised on that behalf by the Governor for his directions.

11. There shall be a Nigeria Police Council, which shall consist of: (a) The President (b) State Governors (c) The Inspector-General of Police (d) The Attorney-General of the Federation (e) The Chairman of the Police Service Commission of the Federation. 

The Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police shall attend the meetings of the Nigeria Police Council and, save for the purpose of voting, may take part in the proceedings of the Council. 

12. The policy, organization and administration of the Nigeria Police Force and all other matters relating thereto (not being matters relating to the use and operational control of the force of the appointment, disciplinary control and dismissal of members of the force) shall be under the general supervision of the Nigeria Police Council.

13. The President shall cause the Nigeria Police Council to be kept fully informed concerning the matters under its supervision and shall cause the Council to be furnished with such information as the Council may require with respect to any particular matter under its supervision.

14. The Nigeria Police Council may make recommendations to the Government of the Federation with respect to any matter under its supervision, and if in any case, the Government acts otherwise than in accordance with any such recommendations it shall cause a statement containing that recommendation and its reasons for acting otherwise than in accordance with that recommendation to be laid before the National Assembly”.
 
And that is why Chief Rotimi Williams in his speech on November 1, 1977, did not include State Police creation when he presented his bill to the Constituent Assembly presided over by Justice Egbert Udo Udoma ((21 June 1917 – 2 February 1998), who was the Chief Justice of Uganda from 1963-1969. The regimes of President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari GCFR (25 February 1925 – 28 December 2018), Turakin Sokoto, Major General Muhammadu Buhari GCFR (79), General Ibrahim Babangida (80) GCFR, Chief Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan GCFR (9 May 1936 – 11 January 2022, General Sani Abacha GCFR (20 September 1943- 8 June 1993) and General Abdusalam Abubakar GCFR (80) did not create state Police. 

After his inauguration as President on May 29,199, President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR then set up a Presidential Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. The Committee was inaugurated on behalf of President Obasanjo by his then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi (76). The Committee which was later headed by Chief Clement David Ebri (69) former Governor of Cross River State, submitted its reports to President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR on February 28, 2001, unfortunately, the committee did not recommend the creation of a State Police.

Prominent members of the Committee were Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Ayo Opadokun, Chief Barnabas Gemade, Chief A.K. Horsfall, Alhaji Iro Abubakar Dan Musa, Chief Arthur Nwankwo, Barrister Adeniyi Akintola, Chief Solomon Asemota (SAN), Mrs. Ayoka Lawani and others. 

What the committee recommended was this “Two positions were canvassed by Nigerians on the desirability or otherwise of allowing States to establish and maintain their Police. Proponents of separate Police for the States rested their demand on the strong ground that it was consistent with federal practice.

The arrangement, they argued, enabled the Federating States to effectively maintain law and order, especially during other social upheavals such as inter-communal riots, youth restiveness, riots and ethnic militancy without the often costly delays in obtaining Federal approval by the Commissioner of Police e ewe a State Governor has so directed/requested.

The handling of the various inter-communal upheavals in the various states of the federation since the beginning of the current democratic governance left much to be desired. This, many people believe was due to the provision of Section 215 (4) of the Constitution which hinders a Governor from exercising his power as Chief Security Officer of the State. 

To be continued tomorrow