Senate passes Police Reform Bill
The Nigerian Senate has today Wednesday, April 17, 2019 passed the Police Reform Bill.
This followed the presentation of a report by Sen. Tijjani Kaura, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs and clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.
According to NAN, the bill seeks re-positioning the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) recommends a five year statutory tenure for any Police officer appointed as the Inspector-General of Police ( IG).
The bill also seeks to make sure that appointment of such is subjected to confirmation of the senate as it applies to all service chiefs, Chief Justice of Nigeria ( CJN), ministers, ambassadors , heads of statutory commissions and agencies .
Providing that the Nigeria Police Council shall nominate three applicants for the position of an IG to the President for appointment.
The bill provides internal disciplinary mechanism for any Police officer who maltreats or kills an innocent citizen.
In other words, a two-year jail term or N5 million fine will be stipulated as punishment for any impersonator as Police officer.
It should be noted that the name “Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is retained in the bill since ‘Force’ is captured in the 1999 Constitution.
A bill for an act to repeal the police Act, 2004 and to enact the Nigeria police Act 2019 to provide for the framework of the police service and ensure cooperation and partnership between the police and the communities in maintaining peace and combating crime”.
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, thanked everyone that contributed to the passage of the bill.
He said, ”as we all know, this law was enacted in 1943 and nothing has been done to reform the Police.This will go a long way in showing that we are a listening senate.
“There is nothing better we can do in honour of those who lost their lives due to the fact that the laws are not in line with international standard practice, for protection of the people at all times.
“This is a very great achievement for us to continue to provide better security for our people and to ensure that the police officers have better condition of service and are more productive,” he said.
During a briefing with newsmen after passage of the bill, Kaura said the bill having 131 clauses, would change the face of the Police to a people-friendly one if President sign it into law.
”All the age long draconian laws in the Police Act of 1943 have been removed to make the Police people friendly, efficient and more effective in crime detection and security service delivery .
“Constant training and better welfare packages for men and officers of the Nigerian Police are also recommended in the bill,” Kaura said.
He said the Police Trust Fund Bill that had already been passed by the Senate would ensure implementation of better welfare in the force.
“In the Police Trust Fund Bill, provisions like .05 per cent from Nigeria’s gross income, .005 per cent of all profits made by companies in Nigeria etc, will go a long way in helping government to fund the Police adequately for improved security,” he said.
The bill was supposed to uphold and protect the inalienable rights of Nigerians, he added.