The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has called for the de-centralization of the Nigeria Police. This was part of the recommendations of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges which was considered and approved in the Senate plenary of Tuesday 5th day of May 2020. It will be recalled that the Senate set up an Ad-hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges on Wednesday 29th January 2020 under the Chairmanship of Sen Yahaya A. Abdullahi, the Senate Leader.
The committee in its report approved by the Senate made wide ranging recommendations which were also approved by the senate, their recommendations include; that the Senate should urge the executive to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Inspector General of Police to “decentralize the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers” vested in the following zonal commands as follows;
Kaduna/ Niger/ FCT
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to set up Zonal Security Advisory Committees at each Zonal Commands proposed above to advise on the security challenges facing each zone. The proposed composition of the Zonal Advisory Council should include;
Governors in the Zone (to preside on rotational basis);
Zonal AIG of Police;
State Commissioners of Police in the Zone;
State Directors of the Department of State Security Service;
Zonal Immigration Officers;
Zonal Customs Officers;
Representative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps in the Zone;
Representative of the Nigeria Correctional Service in the Zone;
Chairmen of State Traditional Rulers Council in the Zone
Faith-based Leaders in the Zone;
Civil Society Representatives in the Zone;
Representative of Senators from the Zone;
Representative of Members of House of Representatives from the Zone;
Representatives of Business Community and Labour in the Zone; and
Any Person or persons deemed to be useful and relevant, taking into account the socio-cultural peculiarities of the zone.
Recommendations were also made for the expansion of the State Security Council and constitution of Area Command, Local Government and Ward Level Advisory Councils.
The Senate urged the Federal Government to direct the Ministry of Police affairs and the Inspector General of Police to immediately implement the Community Policing Strategy involving local stakeholders at the grassroots including traditional rulers and local notable personalities with a view to addressing local security challenges.
The Senate also urged the state assemblies to make necessary laws to legalize community policing to be established at the Local Government level and that the State Governors should fund the community policing from grants appropriated to each Local Government.
The Federal Government is also urged to financially support the community policing initiative with an annual grant.
The Senate resolved that the following laws are to be amended immediately
The Armed Forces Act CAP A20 LFN 2004;
National Security Agencies Act, LFN 2004;
Police Act CAP P19, LFN 2004;
Immigration Act, CAP P1 LFN 2004;
Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (Establishment) Act NO 2, 2003 and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense (Amendment) Act No, 6. 2007;
Customs and Excise Management Act CAP C45 LFN 2004;
Nigerian Communications Commission Act CAP N94 LFN, 2004;
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act, No 23, 2007; and
Review of the Evidence Act in the Judicial Administration.
The Senate also considered two Motions, one is on the status of the 5G network in Nigeria which was sponsored by Senator Ekwunife Uche Lilian, while the second Motion is on allegation of financial recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) sponsored by Senator Sekibo George Thompson.
On the motion on 5G network, the Senate’s resolution is that relevant committees of the Senate should conduct a thorough investigation to determine the status of 5G network in Nigeria and its technological impact on Nigeria citizens.
On the motion on the NDDC, the Senate set up an ad-hoc committee under the Chairmanship of Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi to carry out an holistic investigation of all issues relating to but not limited to the alleged misapplication and misappropriation of the sum of N40 billion by the Commission, as well as all procurements and financial transaction of the Commission in this fiscal year (2020) and any other matter that is not in accordance with the provision of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000 or any other extant law.
A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Quarantine Act and Enact the National Health Emergency 2020, to Make Provisions for Regulating and Preventing the Introduction into and spread in Nigeria of Dangerous Infectious Diseases and for other related matters, passed the first reading at today’s sitting of the Senate.
Senator Dr. Ajibola Basiru
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs