Police reform Bill inconsistent with constitution, says Rep

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By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja

Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Police Affairs, Lawal Abubakar has said some of the provisions contained in the Police Reforms Bill as passed by the Senate were inconsistent with the constitution.

Abubakar spoke on Friday in Abuja at the Police Reform Bill sensitization workshop organized by the Nigerian Policing Programme (NPP) and the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme.

The workshop was in collaboration with Civil Society Legislative Centre (CISLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Police and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) and the Network of Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN).

The Police Reform Bill was proposed as an Act of the National Assembly on 30th May 2018 and was passed by the Senate on 17th April 2019. It is expected to be deliberated on in the House of Representatives before the end of the 8th National Assembly.

Responding to questions over concerns that the Bill has provisions that would whittle down the powers of the president to appoint and remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP); and also tenure for the IGP; Abubakar said, “Whatever may be the case, it’s the president that has the power to appoint the IGP, but if you look at the provision of the reform bill, sometimes it’s inconsistent with the constitution.”

In his goodwill message, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu said the bill seeks to create a police system in Nigeria that would carry out its statutory mandate with fairness, justice and equity in the maintenance of law and order for the socio-economic progress of our country.

Ojukwu added that it was an open secret that at present, the maintenance of internal security in the country seems to be at very low ebb, adding that securing lives and property in the country was a great challenge.

“The Bill provides for the framework for police service and ensures cooperation and partnership between the police and the Nigerian communities in maintaining peace and combating crime,” he said.

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