By Chimezie Godfrey
#TrackNigeria -Some civil society organizations and development partners have commended the Senate for passing the Police Reform Bill and Police Trust Fund Bill and urged the House of Representatives to do same without delay.
At a press briefing Thursday in Abuja, the Group said they noted with delight the passage of the Police Act Amendment Bill by the Senate Yesterday.
According to the statement delivered by the programme manager, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CISLAC), Okeke Anya, this is a significant milestone in the quest to reform the Nigeria Police Force in Nigeria.
“We commend the Senate for this development and urge the House of Representative to do same without delay.
“We also commend the National Assembly for passing the Police Trust Fund Bill.
“We observe with concern the recent extra-judicial activities of some operatives of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other Security Agencies across Nigeria and we are assured that this Bill will go a long way to address some of the challenges in the Policing framework and practice of the country,” he said.
Anya noted that there had been a persistent outcry over some of our law enforcement operatives.
He cited the recent killings in Lagos and other parts of the country which are still very fresh in the memory of Nigerians adding that the killings are a stark reminder of where we are with effort to reform policing in Nigeria.
The Programme Manager said that underlying the outcry are several factors that impact policing in Nigeria.
“As civil society and development partners, we are not only concerned with these police abuses or the quality of policing generally, we are just as concerned about service and operational conditions of police officers
“Amidst the huge security challenges confronting Nigeria, the Nigeria Police Force is persistently understaffed, underfunded, underequipped, neglected and poorly motivated to deal with threats to public order and safety. Such conditions are a recipe for the quality of policing and attendant abuses that we currently experience today.
“We welcome the initiatives by the Acting Inspector General of Police to address police abuses”, he said.
Anya Commended the riot act that the IGP recently read to the area commanders and DPOs noting that it will curb the extras-legal activities of officers, and also further restructure and reorganize SARS at all command levels.
He said, “As Civil Society Organizations, we affirm our support to the Nigeria Police in Building the capacity and honing the skills of officers, men and women of the force.
“Finally, we urge the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to assent to Police Bills with the urgency that the subject matter demands.
“Passage and Assent of the Bills will reflect this administration’s commitment to improving policing and public security in Nigeria,” he stressed.
The statement was signed by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Nigeria Policing Programme (NPP), Network on Police reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC).
Others are AIG James Olatunji Caulcrick, FSI, PSC (RTD), State of the Union (SOTU), and Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC).