Conference backs call for state police

The national conference on Thursday approved the establishment of state police in the country.

However, the conference said only states that feel that they have the capacity to fund and kit them, should establish state police.

Apart from this, the conference also adopted the recommendation by the Committee on National Security, that state laws should be used as guide for community policing.

But there were a lot of disagreements among the delegates on the mode of transfer of federal police to state.

While some insisted that police officers should be allowed to serve only their states for effective policing, others disagreed, saying the gesture could be misused by politicians.

After a long argument, delegates later adopted the recommendation that at least, 70 per cent of federal police officers from the rank of Deputy Superintendent to constable, should be allowed to serve in their state of origin.

Before the final approval of the state police was given, delegates debated on what the mode of operation of the state police would be and whether there wouldn’t be any superiority battle between the Federal and State police.

Some delegates were of the opinion that there would be conflict of command and operations between the Federal and State police and that there was no way both would work together without rancour.

They raised concern on the possibility of harmonious co-existence of both federal police and state police in states, considering the fact that their duties might overlap.

However, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said the state police should be autonomous and should operate as a coordinate with the federal police.

On his part, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) said, “The state police will police and maintain state laws while the Federal police will maintain Federal laws”.

Some delegates also raised concern on the appropriate title for commissioners of police in charge of state police and federal police as well as modalities for posting commissioners under the federal system to states.

A voice vote was later taken and delegates voted against seeking the consent of a state governor before the posting of a commissioner of police under the federal system to and out of his state.

They equally voted against state governors being involved in the running of police commands in their states and abolishment of monetisation of a special protection unit of the Nigeria Police Force, which seemed to privatise security.

In the same vein, a compulsory life insurance for all armed security personnel including the Police, by government, was approved.

The conference however voted against the merging of the Road Safety Corp and National Security and Defence Corp with the Nigeria Police Force.

The conference equally rejected call to suspend recruitment of constables for a given period of time within which police training institutions would be upgraded and brought to international standard.

The conference further turned down the proposal for the police to be brought under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The proposals for establishment of a police complaint authority and call for women to be given 50 per cent participation in all the security forces were also turned down

But the conference adopted the recommendation that the number of vehicles on government convoys and the speed limit be set by the Federal Road Safety Commission.

It also rejected the recommendation to stop the Nigerian Army from being drafted for electoral duties as well as the recommendation that the NSCDC, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the NDLEA, the Custom Service to expand the composition of State Security Council.

The conference also adopted the recommendation to re-organise the Defence Industry Company of Nigeria and creation of a Military Industrial Complex.

The delegates also agreed that the Constitution must be amended to accommodate the appointment of the Chief of Defence a Staff as Chairman Joint Chief of Staff.

They also said government should compensate Odi, Zaki Biam and other places affected by military operations in the past.

A former Chairman of PUNCH Nigeria Limited, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, later moved for the adoption of the report of the Committee on National Security and was supported by Mr. Atedo Peterside. Punch

 

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