Senate Begins Legislation On State Police


The Senate will tomorrow commence the legislative process for the establishment of state police in the country with introduction of a bill for that purpose.

The bill, which would be read for the first time tomorrow is sponsored by the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP Enugu West) and co-sponsored by all the 58 members of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review.

A copy of the bill obtained by LEADERSHIP indicates that in other to avoid operational friction between the planned state police outfits and the federal police, the functions and responsibilities are well specified.

Also, as a way of guiding against the abuse of the organisations across the various states either by state governors or commissioners, mechanisms for checking such are also being proposed like State Police Service Commission which will have membership from the various relevant professional bodies .

The draft bill reads in part: ”State Police shall be organised and administered in accordance with such provisions as may be prescribed by a law of the House of Assembly of a state subject to the framework and guidelines established by an Act of the National Assembly.

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“The commissioner of police shall be appointed by the governor of the state on the advice of the National Police Service Commission, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the House of Assembly of the state.

“Shall be in office for a period of five years only or until he attains a retirement age prescribed by law, whichever is earlier.

”The governor may give to the commissioner of police such lawful directives with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the commissioner of police shall comply with those directives.

“Where the commissioner of police feels that any order given is unlawful or contradicts general policing standards or practice, he may request that the matter be referred to the State Police Service Commission for review.

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“The decision of the State Police Service Commission shall be final and shall not be inquired into by any court.

”An Act of the National Assembly may prescribe a bi-annual certification review of the activities of state police by the National Police Service Commission to ensure they meet up with approved national standards and guidelines of policing and their operations do not undermine national integrity, promote ethnic, tribal or sectional agenda or marginalise any segment of the society within the state.

”The draft bill also clearly makes provisions for procedures of removing the commissioner of the state- owned police command to guide against any form of arbitrary removal and enhance professionalism.”

The provision states: ”A commissioner shall only be removed by the governor upon the recommendation of the National Police Service Commission praying that he be so removed on any of the following grounds- (a) misconduct in the performance of his official duties; (b) Serious breach of policing standards and (c) conviction of any offence by a court of law or tribunal, including administrative tribunals set up by the police authorities for internal disciplining of police officers.

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Others are (d) indictment by a judicial body or tribunal for corruption, fraud, embezzlement or other unacceptable conducts in office, (e) bankruptcy, (f) mental incapacity, and (g) participation in political activities of any kind either within or outside the state and including sponsoring or giving aid to any political group of movement, provided that such removal shall be subject to approval by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the state.”