- Wants state assembly to legalize community policing
Deji Elumoye and Chuks Okocha in Abuja
As part of measures to reposition the country's security apparatus and ensure its efficiency, the Senate on Tuesday called for decentralization of the Nigeria Police.
The upper legislative chamber also asked the 36 houses of the state assembly to pass laws that would legalize community policing in their respective states.
The Senate, in deciding to adopt the recommendations of its Ad hoc Committee on Nigeria's Security Challenges, led by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi in plenary, called for the expansion of the State Security Council and the constitution of the Area Command, Government Advisory Councils Location and Ward Level.
These were the highlights of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee's recommendations on the urgent need to restructure, review and reorganize the current security architecture that was considered and approved on Tuesday in the Senate plenary.
The commission created on January 29, 2020, in its report approved by the Senate in plenary, made comprehensive recommendations that were also approved by the Senate.
The Senate, therefore, urged the executive to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Inspector General of Police (IG) to “decentralize the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers” invested in the 11 zone commands as follows; Kano / Jigawa / Kastina, Sokoto / Zamfara / Kebbi, Kaduna / Niger / FCT, Ekiti / Kwara / Kogi, Benue / Plateau / Nassarawa, Bauchi / Yobe / Borno and Adamawa / Taraba / Gombe
Other commands are Lagos / Ogun, Oyo / Osun / Ondo, Edo / Delta / Bayelsa, Rivers / Akwa-Ibom / Cross Rivers, Imo / Abia and Anambra / Enugu / Ebonyi.
The Senate also urged the federal government to establish Zone Security Advisory Committees in each Zone Command to advise on the security challenges facing each zone.
The proposed composition of the Zone Advisory Councils includes zone governors (rotating chair), Zonal AIG Police, State Police Commissioners in the Zone, State Directors of the State Security Service Department; Zone Immigration Officers; Zone customs officers; representative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps in the Zone and representative of the Nigeria Correctional Service in the Zone.
Others are presidents of the state's Council of Traditional Governors in the region, religious leaders in the region; Civil society representatives in the region, representatives of senators in the region, representatives of members of the Chamber of Deputies in the region, representatives of the business community and workers in the region; and any person or persons deemed useful and relevant, taking into account the socio-cultural peculiarities of the area.
Recommendations were also made for the expansion of the State Security Council and the establishment of Advisory Councils for Area Command, Local Government and Wing Level.
The Senate urged the federal government to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the IG to immediately implement the Community Policing Strategy, involving local actors at the grassroots, including traditional government officials and notable local personalities, in order to address local security challenges.
He also urged the Houses of the State Assembly to make the necessary laws to legalize community policing to be established at the local government level and that state governors should finance community policing with subsidies appropriate to each local government.
The federal government is also urged to financially support the community policing initiative with an annual donation.
The Senate decided that the following laws should be changed immediately.
They include: The Armed Forces Act CAP A20 LFN 2004; National Security Agencies Act, LFN 2004; Police Law CAP P19, LFN 2004; Immigration Law, CAP P1 LFN 2004; Act n. 2 of 2003 of the Security and Civil Defense Corps of Nigeria.
Others are Nigeria's Security and Civil Defense Act, No. 6. 2007; Customs and Excise Duty Management Law CAP C45 LFN 2004; Nigeria Communications Commission Act CAP N94 LFN, 2004; the Law of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), no 23, 2007; and Review of the Evidence Law in the Judicial Administration.