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Abiru advocates for Nigeria police overhaul

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo


The candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for Lagos-East bye-election, Tokunbo Abiru, has said that disbandment of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a formation of the Nigerian Police, would not unilaterally address brutality and extra-judicial killings been perpetrated by the law enforcement agency across the country.

Abiru added that the solution was for the Federal Government to review codes and regulations of the entire Nigerian Police to ensure personnel of the law enforcement agency perform their duties in accordance with the international best standards.

The APC candidate, in a statement released by his media team, commended the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, for announcing disbandment of SARS after Nigerian youths took to the street to kick against injustice.

The financial expert argued that for the dissolution to be effective as expected by Nigerians, the Federal Government should partner different stakeholders’ including state governments to initiate far-reaching reforms that could overhaul Nigerian Police.

The immediate past Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank, yesterday, further stated that reform of the entire police should include empowering the Police Service Commission (PSC) to carry out its oversight function on the police without any hindrance.

He added: “PSC should have enough independence to develop its own processes and procedures and should have its own investigators. It should not have to rely on the police to investigate allegations of human rights violations”.

Aside from this, Abiru, who was a former finance commissioner in Lagos, argued that the report submitted by the Presidential Panel on SARS reform should brought out and implement the recommendation as it contained solutions to the challenges confronting the law enforcement agency.

According to him, the report recommended the establishment of state and local government police as well as renaming of SARS to Anti-Robbery Section (ARS) and that the section should operate under the intelligence arm of the Nigeria Police.

To prevent what was currently affecting Nigeria Police after the reform, the APC candidate argued that police officers, including former SARS officers should undergo training based on human rights standards compliant practices.

Abiru, while advocating for a structural training system, stated that there was need for reorientation of the Nigerian Police as a service-focused law enforcement agency rather than as a paramilitary agency.

“As the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, therefore, I am committed to supporting far-reaching reforms that will re-engineer police operations across the federation.

“If eventually elected on October 31, I will pursue the amendment of the Nigeria Police Act in order to humanise police operations and institutionalise modern policing and law enforcement in Nigeria. We cannot allow the police to become a threat to the people they are set up to protect”.

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