The Senate on Wednesday passed the Police Reform Bill, approving a statutory five-year Single term for the Inspector – General of Police, IGP.
In providing for five-year single tenure for any IGP, it said that the tenure of such an office is statutory notwithstanding his or her retirement age.
It also approved a jail term of two years and a fine of one million by a policeman found to have been involved in extrajudicial killing.
It also approved a two-year jail term or N5 million fine as punishment for any impersonator as Policeman or Police officer, the internal disciplinary mechanism is recommended for any Police officer who brutalises or killed an innocent citizen. The Bill was read the third time and passed.
According to the Senate, the appointment of such an officer as Inspector General of Police would also be subjected to confirmation of the Upper Legislative Chamber as it is for all service chiefs, Chief Justice of Nigeria ( CJN),/Ministers, Ambassadors, Heads of Statutory Commissions and Agencies.
The passage of the Bill for an Act to repeal the Police Act CAP P19 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enact the Nigeria Police Act. 2019 to provide for the framework for the Police Service and ensure cooperation and partnership between the Police and Communities in maintaining peace and combating crime and for related matters was sequel to the consideration of the report of the Police Affairs Committee on Police Reform Bill, 2019(SB.683) as presented by the Chairman, Senator Tijjani Laura, Zamfara North.
Provisions for these and others are contained in the Police Reform Bill passed by the upper legislative chamber on Wednesday in plenary.
Under clause 7 of the bill which makes provisions and procedures for appointment and removal of Inspector General of Police ( IGP), the bill in Clause 7(4b) states that the Nigeria Police Council shall nominate three applicants from among the pool of applicants for the position of IGP to the President for appointment.
Clause 7(4c) of the bill states that the President shall appoint the Inspector – General from recommended applicants subject to the confirmation of the Senate.
It said that for the removal of any IGP, clause 7(7c ) of the bill empowers the Nigerian Police Council to make a recommendation to that effect to the President of the country without Senate’s approval.
The Nigerian Police Council as stated in clause 6(2) of the bill as the highest policy-making body in matters relating to the Police Force shall consist of the President as the Chairman, the Governor of each state of the federation, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the Inspector – General of Police.
The Name Nigeria Police ( NPF), is also retained in the bill since according to the committee,’ Force’, is captured as part of the name of the crime-fighting agency in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Addressing Journalists after the passage of the bill, the Chairman of the Committee, Tijjani Kaura said the passed bill containing 131 clauses, will change the face of the Police in the Country from what it is to People Friendly one if eventually signed into law by the President.
He said, “All the age-long draconian laws in the Police Act of 1943 have been removed to make the Police people friendly, efficient and more effective in crime detection and security service delivery.”
Required constant training and welfare packages for men and officers of the Nigerian Police, have been recommended for in the bill.
According to him, the area of welfare packages for operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, provisions of the Police Trust Fund Bill passed last week by the Senate , will ensure their implementation,adding, “in the Police Trust Fund Bill, provisions like .05% from Nigeria’s gross income, .005% all profits made by companies in Nigeria etc, would go along way in helping government to fund the Police very adequately for improved security services to Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, the 2019 budget was laid, just as the Senate adjourned plenary till Wednesday, 24th.