In a bid to ensure stability and transparency in the force, lawmakers at the upper chamber have approved a four-year single tenure for the office of the Inspector-General of Police after passing a bill that amended the Police Act.
It explained that the four-year single tenure among others proscribed in the proposed legislation titled, “Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2020” had become imperative as part of measures to make the position tenured.
The lawmakers’ approval followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs which recommended among others that the name of the Nigerian Police Force should not be changed and that police should abide by certain provisions of the constitution especially as it concern persons in custody.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Halliru Jika, said that the committee met with all relevant stakeholders including the convocation of a public hearing to her inputs from all those concerned.
Jika, who disclosed this on Tuesday while reading the committee’s report during plenary, noted that the views expressed by stakeholders revealed there is general support for the bill.
He added that part of the recommendations was that the inspector-General of Police should adhere to policing plans while the appointment and removal from office of the Police boss would henceforth be based on the advice of the Police Council.
“The national policing plan should be made with inputs from the Police Force Headquarters and all the various Police formations nationwide before the end of each financial year.
”It should set priorities, objectives, cost implications, and expected outcomes of Policing for the next succeeding financial year in order to change budgeting from a top-down approach to a bottom-up approach.
“The Police should abide and enforce certain constitutional provisions, particularly fundamental rights of persons in Police custody under chapter 4 of the l999 constitution (as amended) and other international instruments on Human rights to which Nigeria is a signatory,” he said.
In his remark, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, said the bill which had been read and passed after the third reading would help in repositioning the force for effective and efficient policing in the country.
“This again is one of those important Bills that will help the Nigerian Police Force to be more effective and efficient. Congratulations to our Committee on Police Affairs and to the Senate. Today is a day of passing very important legislation for the good governance of this country,” he said.
However, in his contribution, Senator Rochas Okorocha objected to the tenure of the position of the Inspector General of Police saying that doing so will politicize the office especially since it is not a commission.
“The Nigerian Police is not a commission. I think the issue of tenure should actually be looked into. All these appointments shouldn’t be tenured but should be subject to performance,” he said.