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Senate Moves To Check IGP’s Powers, Decentralises Police Structure

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The Senate has introduced a bill seeking to decentralise the police structure, which checks the powers of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

Naija News reports that the bill seeks to amend the Police Act, 2020, six months after President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Nigeria Police Bill 2020.

The new bill titled ‘The Nigeria Police Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill, 2021’, was sponsored by the Senate spokesperson, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru (APC – Osun).

Basiru noted that the bill seeks to enhance the operational capacity of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) through the removal of constraints of funds and whittling down the over-centralization of the command structure of the police force.

He said, “The amendments being sought to be implemented in the Police Act also align with the clamour for state police as the bill has made way for the participation of state actors in the affairs of the police force as it affects their zones and or states respectively.

“These amendments, if favourably considered and implemented, would improve our security apparatus and address the security challenges facing the nation.

Naija News reports that the amendment seeks to decentralize the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers vested in the zonal offices.

The bill also seeks to establish a zonal security advisory council and state security advisory council to advise on the security challenges facing each zone or state respectively.

The amendment seeks to insert a new Section ‘6(7)’ which provides for the structure of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as follows:

(a) Force Headquarters; (b) Zonal Headquarters; (c) State Commands; (d) Training Institutes; (e) Area Commands; (f)Divisional Police Headquarters and (g) Police Stations.

The new section makes provision for an organic structure for the police force so that its operations would be streamlined easily and better coordinated in line with global best practices.

The new Section 6(9)(a) of the bill establishes the zonal structure of the NPF to be headed by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, who is given the power of budgetary control over the respective zones.

The provision makes for an even spread to all the geopolitical zones in the country and also obviates the unnecessary administrative bottleneck of having to report to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Abuja before key decisions are made, especially urgent decisions on funds.

If passed into law, the bill will reduce administrative challenges in the police, in addition to inching closer to state police.

Source: Naija News

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows. Gbenga is an alumnus of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State and The Polytechnic, Ibadan.