Bill on State Police passes First Reading in Senate
A Bill for the amendment of the 1999 Constitution for the creation of state and community police on Thursday passed First Reading in the Senate.
When passed into law, Nigeria will join the league of other nations like United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Mexico, India, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Australia among others with state police. This means states in Nigeria will have their own police distinct from federal police.
There have been clamours for the creation of state police to tackle the rising spate of insecurity across the country.
However, some critics are opposed to the bill on the grounds that state police would be abused by state governors to witch-hunt perceived political enemies.
The Bill titled ‘Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2018’ is sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and and co-sponsored by 75 other senators.
The development comes nine days after the upper legislative chamber asked its Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution to submit a bill on state police.
The committee is chaired by Ekweremadu.
During a debate last week, senators described the current centralization of policing in Nigeria as a collosal failure and stressed the urgent need to amend the constitution to allow for state and community police.
Speaking after the Bill passed First Reading on Thursday, Ekweremadu who presided over the session, assured that the Senate would expedite action on the amendment bill.
He said: “The Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution has fulfilled its mandate. And now the Bill has been taken for the first time. I am sure that as soon as possible we will take the Second Reading and probably send it to public hearing through the Committee so that we fast-track it as directed by the Senate”.
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