Wednesday, February 21, 2024


State governors will be empowered to select police commissioners under proposed legislation, with specific criteria outlined for their potential dismissal. 

The bill, titled "A Proposal to Amend the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria to Allow for the Formation of State Police and Associated Issues," advanced to the next stage of deliberation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. 

This move aims to decentralize the Nigeria Police Force and address the nation's escalating security challenges. Sponsored by Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker, and backed by 14 others, the bill seeks to place policing under both federal and state jurisdiction by including it in the concurrent list. Currently, the 1999 Constitution grants exclusive legislative control over policing to the Federal Government. Tolani Shagaya, a co-sponsor representing Ilorin West/Asa Federal Constituency, emphasized the government's primary responsibility for citizen protection and well-being according to section 14(2)(b) of the constitution. 

Key provisions of the proposed alteration bill include transferring policing from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list, establishing a comprehensive framework for cohesion, accountability, and uniform standards between federal and state police, and implementing safeguards to prevent unwarranted federal interference in state police affairs, while promoting collaboration and intervention only under defined circumstances.

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