Formation Of State Police In All States Of The Federation Is Long Overdue, — Ndarani Mohammed, SAN

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mohammed Ndarani Mohammed
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Formation Of State Police In All States Of The Federation Is Long Overdue, — Ndarani Mohammed, SAN

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mohammed Ndarani Mohammed, has thrown his weight behind the formation of state police across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

This was part of the memorandum submitted to the Deputy Speaker and Honourable Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review, cited by our reporter.

Ndarani, SAN, said that the formation of state police in all the states of the Federation is long overdue.

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According to his argument, with the rising spate of insecurity and the gradual involvement of the communities and local vigilantes in collaborative efforts between the regular police and members of the public to protect lives and property, there is no doubt that the neighbourhood would be safer, crime reduced, and offenders easily fished out.

“Out of the over twenty-five (25) Federating nations in the world today, including the United States of America, India, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, etc., and others like Great Britain and Italy, which practice multilevel policing systems, Nigeria is the only country without a State Police, Ndarani said in his submission to the House of Representatives Committee on Constitutional Review.

He said, “Our submission on the State Police is to strengthen our proposal for a parliamentary system of government since the State Police is an essential aspect of a strong federation, which we seek to achieve through our submissions.

“To foster cooperation between the federal and state police, we recommend that the Constitution and other relevant laws in this respect by the National Assembly should specify and clearly define the responsibility of the federal and state police formations and give a clear-cut demarcation between their spheres of operation.

On how to check the excesses of politicians who would use the police at their disposal to hunt down and terrorise their political opponents and to quell opposition and wantonly violate the rights of the citizens, Ndarani, SAN, suggested that a provision be made in the Federal Law that will permit the National Assembly in such situations to proscribe such state police formation and prosecute the officers so indicted.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mohammed Ndarani Mohammed
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mohammed Ndarani Mohammed

An excerpt is the abstract of the State Police Formation from the Memorandum on the Review of the 1999 Constitution submitted to the House of Representatives.

NIGERIA POLICE AND NIGERIAN SECURITY ARCHITECTURE
We support and recommend the formation of State Police in all the States of the Federation, which we consider long overdue. With the rising spate of insecurity, and the gradual involvement of the communities and local vigilantes in collaborative efforts between the regular Police and members of the public in protecting lives and property, there is no doubt that the neighbourhood would be safer, crime reduced and offenders easily fished out. Out of the over twenty-five (25) Federating nations in the world today, including the United States of America, India, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, etc., and others like Great Britain and Italy, which practice multilevel policing systems, Nigeria is the only country without a State Police. Interestingly, the four regions that existed during the First Republic operated State Police too, whose powers were taken away by the military that overthrew the civilian government then. This is the essence of Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Our submission on the State Police is to strengthen our proposal for a Parliamentary system of government since the State Police is an essential aspect of a strong federation, which we seek to achieve through our submissions.

Interestingly, since the advent of the present 4″ Republic that is from 1999 to date, the call for State Police has grown and gathered momentum. The persistently and embarrassing security breaches across the country and the apparent crass failure of the one Federal Police structure is a source of worry on how to adequately police a 200 Million population, a vast and diversified territory consisting of 36 states and Abuja, 774 Local Government Areas, 8,812 Wards, 176,606 polling units with only 371,000 underpaid, understaffed, under-trained and under-motivated Police Officers commanded by the Inspector General of Police headquartered in Abuja. As a corollary to the Federal Police Service Commission, the State Police should put in place a State Police Commission, nominated by a broad-based group like NGOs, Clergy,
Force men retired and serving, businessmen, chieftaincy institutions, and others with proven integrity and non-partisan. Any member of any State Police found to be partisan or a card-carrying member of a party should be dropped. The State Police Commission would be charged with the duty of recruitment, promotion, discipline, and training of State Police officers and will also put up a robust guideline to deal with all acts of indiscipline and accountability of these officers, some of which should be handled by the Federal Police Force. The state heads should only be called Commissioner of Police and shall be answerable to the State House of Assembly, Federal Ministry of Police Affairs and the judiciary.

To foster cooperation between the federal and State Police, we recommend that the Constitution and other relevant laws in this respect by the National Assembly should specify and clearly define the responsibility of the Federal and state Police formations and give a clear-cut demarcation between their spheres of operation. Furthermore, we submit that certain crimes should be classed as federal Crimes while others should be classed as state crimes, and there should be avenues for the Federal Police to intervene, take over and prosecute offenders.

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The other details would be worked out by experts but must accommodate the peculiarities of our type of democracy, on how to check the excesses of politicians who would use the Police at their disposal to hunt down and terrorise their political opponents and to quell opposition and wantonly violate the rights of the citizens. This means that a provision should be made in the Federal Law which will permit the National assembly in such situations to proscribe such State Police formation and prosecute the officers so indicted.

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