Legal Nigeria

A Lagos lawyer, Mr. Elo Adhekpukoli, has submitted a proposal to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow the establishment of State Police. According to him, policing is best done locally and at community level. The current system of policing does not help proper policing efforts due to the practice of posting officers across the country to terrains they are not familiar with. Continuous redeployment allows for lack of continuity in intelligence gathering. Federating States should be given constitutional powers to set up State Police to compliment the Federal Police. This can be achieved by the following constitutional amendments:

Section 214(1) should be redrafted as follows:

“There shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigerian Police Force, and State Police in each State of the Federation subject to the ability of each State to maintain a viable State Police Force in accordance with any law that may be enacted by the House of Assembly of a State”

Item 39 of the Exclusive Legislative List should be amended as follows:

“Nigerian Police Force and other government security services established by laws of the National Assembly to police and secure the Federal Capital Territory and inter-state boundaries.”

List “Policing” as a new item in the Concurrent Legislative List as follows:

“The House of Assembly of a State shall have powers to make laws to establish State Police to ensure the security of lives and property of any person within the State, subject to the control of security activities along inter-state borders and the Federal Capital Territory by the Nigerian Police Force, and provided always that the bearing of arms and ammunition by State Police shall be regulated in according with extant laws made by the National Assembly”.

The proposed amendments will ensure cooperation between Federal and State security architecture.

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