Senate panel to recommend breakup of police operations




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To make the police responsive, pro-active and effective in the face of a breakdown of internal security, the Senate Committee on Constitution Amendment is considering a proposal that will tinker with the structure of the police.


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The committee resorted to adjustment of the structure because the members failed to agree on the proposal for state police.

After a rancorous debate on the police, sources said the members decided to push the issues to plenary for a decision.

“The decision on the state police was along ethnic lines”, the source added.

The proposed plan will be part of the amendment and recommendations to be submitted to the Senate at plenary next month after resumption from vacation.

It seeks to decentralise the police operation to bring it closer to the people.

In the new arrangement, there will be additional 17 zonal commands, zonal police council, state security advisory council and community policing advisory council.

The zonal commands shall have operational and budgetary control over the police formations in the zones.

In what appears like semi-autonomy, the zonal commands is to prepare and submit to the Force Headquarters their budget which the inspector-general of Police shall forward to the National Assembly for approval.

The deployment of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police to a Zone and or his removal from a Zone shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The Inspector-General of Police is stripped of powers to remove an Assistant Inspector-General of Police at will.

The removal of an Inspector-General of Police and an Assistant-Inspector-General of Police shall be based on two-thirds majority of the Senate.

Also, the funding of the police will be at Zonal, State and local levels.

Special levies and or taxes are to be introduced in the and in the Zones for the purpose of the Fund.

The Senate and the House of Representatives Committees on Constitution Review may defer debate on State Police to the plenary.

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It was learnt that members of the two committees were not able to agree on State Police.

These details of the recommendation are contained in a bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to decentralize the operations and funding for the police for state and communities to participate in policing in Nigeria and for other related matters.

Some of the amendments to the 1999 Constitution to be proposed for consideration are as follows: “ Section 215(1)(a) an Inspector-General of Police who, subject to section 216(2) of this constitution shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the National Police Council from among serving members of the Nigerian Police subject to the confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.”

“215(1)(b) a for each State of the Federation who shall be appointed by the Police Service Commission and deployed by the Inspector-General of Police.

“215(1}(c) A for a State shall serve in that capacity for a minimum term of two years which may be renewed or extended for another period of two years and no more.”

On the Zonal Structure of the Nigerian Police Force, Section 215{1)(d) | The Zonal Commands of the Nigerian Police Force shall consist as follows:

The breakdown of the Zonal Commands of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is as follows: Zone 1 (Kano/Jigawa); Zone 2-(Lagos/ Ogun); Zone 3-(Adamawa/Taraba); Zone 4-(Benue/Nasarawa/ Plateau); Zone 5-(Edo/Delta); Zone 6-(Akwa Ibom/Cross River); Zone 7-(FCT/Niger); Zone 8-(Kogi/Kwara); and Zone 9-(Abia/Ebonyi/Imo).

Others are Zone 10-(Sokoto/Kebbi/Zamfara); Zone 11-(Osun/Oyo); Zone 12-(Bauchi/Gombe); Zone 13-(Anambra/Enugu); Zone 14-(Katsina/Kaduna); Zone 15-(Borno/Yobe); Zone 16-(Bayelsa/Rivers) and Zone 17-(Ondo/Ekiti).

A document exclusively obtained by THE NATION gave insights into the modus operandi of the Zonal Commands.

It says: “Each Zonal Command shall be headed by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police who shall report to the inspector General of Police.

“The Zonal Command shall be headed by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police of Police who shall be deployed by the Inspector General-of Police on the recommendation of the Zonal Police Council who shall forward at least six names for the consideration of the Inspector-General of Police from among serving members of the Nigerian Police.

The deployment of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police to a Zone and or his removal from a Zone shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate..

“The Zonal Commands shall have operational and budgetary control over the Police formations in the Zones and shall prepare and submit to the Force Headquarters their Budget which the Inspector-General of Police shall forward to the National Assembly for approval.”

There was also an alteration to Section216 of the 1999 Constitution on the removal of Inspector-General of Police and an Assistant inspector-General of Police.

Thr removal of an Inspector-General of Police and an Assistant-Inspector-General of Police shall be based on two-thirds majority of the Senate,. .


Section 216(1) says: “An Inspector-General of Police shall only be removed by the President upon the recommendation of the National Police Council praying that he be so removed on any of the following grounds

(a) misconduct in the discharge of his official duties;

(b) breach of Police Act, Regulation and Code and Code of Conduct;

(c) conviction of any offence by court of law or tribunal, including administrative tribunals set up by the Police Authorities for internal discipline of police officers;

(d) indictment by a judicial body or tribunal for corruption, fraud, embezzlement or other unacceptable conducts In office:

(e}) bankruptcy

(f) mental Incapacity; and

(g) participation in political activities of any kind either within or outside the country, including sponsoring or giving aid to any political group or movement:

Provided that such removal shall be subject to approval by a resolution of two thirds majority of the Senate.

( 2) An Assistant Inspector-General of Police shall only be removed by the Inspector. General of Police upon the recommendation of the Zonal Police Council praying that he be so removed on any of the following grounds

(a) misconduct in the discharge of his official duties;

{b) breach of Police Act, Regulation and Code and Code of Conduct;

(c) conviction of any offence by court of law or tribunal, including administrative tribunals set up by the Police Authorities for internal

discipline of police officers;

(d) indictment by a Judicial body or tribunal for corruption, fraud, embezzlement or other unacceptable conducts in office;

(e) bankruptcy

(f) mental incapacity; and participation In political activities of any kind either within or outside the country, including sponsoring or giving aid to any political group or movement:

Provided that such removal shall be subject to approval by a resolution of two thirds majority of the Senate.

“A commissioner of Police of a State shall only be removed by the Inspector-General of Police upon the recommendation of the State Police Council praying that he be so removed on any of the following grounds

{a) misconduct in the performance of his official duties;

(b) serious breach of policing standards;

(c) conviction of any offence by a court of law or tribunal, including administrative tribunals set up by the police authorities for internal disciplining of police officers;

(d)indictment by a judicial body or tribunal for corruption, fraud, embezzlement or other unacceptable conducts in office;

(e) bankruptcy;

(f) mental incapacity; and

(g) participation in political activities of any kind either within or outside the State and including sponsoring or giving aid to political group or movement.

According to the document, governors are now to preside over Zonal Police Advisory Council.

This development is in line with the alteration of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Principal Act by inserting a new Section “27(2)” and a new “sub-heading “Zona! Police (ADVISORY) Council”

The document adds: “Section 27(2) The Zonal Police (Advisory) Council shall comprise the following members

(a) Governors in the Zone (to preside as Chairman in rotation);

(b)} Assistant inspectors-General of Police in the Zones;

(c) Attomeys-General and Commissioner for Justice of in the Zones;

{c) of Police in the Zones;

(ad) Chairmen of Traditional Councils of i the Zones;

(e) 3 Representatives Religious Organisations from the Zones;

(f) Representatives of Civil Societies from the Zones;

“By inserting a new Section “28(2)”, the functions of the Zonal Police (Advisory?) Council shall include

{a) the organisation and administration of the Police in the Zones and ail other matters relating thereto (not being matters relating to the use and operational control of the Police or the appointment, disciplinary control and dismissal of members of the Police);

(a) the general supervision of the Police in the Zones; and

(c) advising the Inspector-General of Police on the issue of security in the Zones; and

{d) advising the Inspector-General of Police on the deployment of Assistant Inspector-General of Police to the Zones.

{c) by inserting a new Section “28(3)”

The Senate Committee also recommended the establishment of the Zonal Police (Advisory) Council Fund

Section 28 (3) says: “ There shall be established a Fund into which shall accrue all monies that shall be saved and employed strictly in the circumstances as provided for in this Constitution.

“ The Fund shall be known as the Zonal Police (Advisory) Council Fund and shall consist of contributions from the Governors in the Zone and from other sources as hereunder stated. The sole objective of the Fund shall be to provide an assured fund to

support the operation of the Police in the Zones and shall be solely employed in the circumstances provided for in this Constitution.”

The amendments contained regulations on how to fund Zonal, State and Local Government Security Advisory Council.

On the zonal structure the alteration says:” The Fund shall consist of:

(a) An initial contribution of N… to be contributed as follows:

i) the sum of N….. each to be contributed by the states (Governors) from the Zones
Section 31(1) borders on State Police Security (Advisory) Council which shall comprise the following members

(a) The Governor as the Chairman

(b) Commissioner of Police in the State; (c} The Heads of all Federal Security Agencies in the State;

(d) All the Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in the State;

(e) Two retired Police officers not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police who are indigenes of the State;

(f} Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the State;

(g) Three from each of the three senatorial districts in the state;

(h) two members to be appointed by the National Human Rights commission who shall be indigenes of the respective State:

(I) One representative of the Public Complaints Commission

(j) A representative of the Nigerian Labour Congress to be appointed by the Chairman of the State Branch;

(k) three retired Police officers of not less than the rank of inspector to be appointed by the Governor, one from each senatorial districts Of the State subject to confirmation by the State House of Assembly;

(i) Chairmen of the branches of Nigerian Bar Association In the State;

(m) Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in the State,

(n) Youth Leaders to be appointed by the Governor;

(0) Three representatives of Civil Societies;

(p) Three representatives of women societies In the State; and

(q) Heads of Hunters and Local Vigilante Groups In the State.

“The State Security (Advisory) Council shall be responsible for

*Advising the Inspector-General of Police on the Security situation in the State through the Commissioner of Police;

*other functions and powers of the Council as may be specified either In the Constitution or a Law of the House of Assembly of a State.”

”A Community Policing Advisory Council shall comprise the following members

(a) the Local Government Chairman of the Local Government Area;

(b) All First-Class in the Local Government;

(c) The Divisional Police Officers in all the Police Divisions within the Local Government Area;

(d) At least two retired Police Officers who are not below the Rank of Chief Superintendent of Police from the Local Government; and follows

(e) Heads of Hunters and Local Vigilante Groups in the Local Government Area.

“The funding of Community Policing Advisory Council is as follows:

(ii) The sum of N…..each to be contributed by the Local Government Areas in the zones; and

(iii) The sum of N….. to be contributed by commercial banks/companies etc in the zones.

(a) a minimum monthly /quarterly contribution of not less than….. percent (…%) of the monthly/quarterly allocation from the Federal Government by the in the zones;

(b) a minimum monthly/quarterly contribution of not less than …..percent (….%) of the monthly /quarterly allocation from the Local Government Areas in the zones.

(c) Special levies and or taxes to be introduced in the in the Zones for the purpose of the Fund;

(d) such sum as may de paid voluntarily by any person whether by way of gift, bequest or such other donation made from time to time;

(e) Revenue accruing periodically from approved investments made out of the fund;

(f)Other revenue accruing to the fund by means not provided for in this constitution. “

Source