Senate calls for decentralized Police structure, Community Policing

By Haruna Salami
The Nigerian Senate has called for the de-centralization of the Nigeria Police as part of the recommendations of its ad-hoc committee on Nigeria security Challenges which were considered and approved in plenary on Tuesday. 
It will be recalled that the Senate set up an ad-hoc committee on Nigeria security challenges on Wednesday January 29, 2020 under the chairmanship of Sen Yahaya A. Abdullahi, the Senate Leader.

The committee made wide ranging recommendations which were also approved by the Senate. They 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 zonal commands as follows:a. Kano/Jigawa/Kastinab. Sokoto/Zamfara/Kebbic. Kaduna/ Niger/ FCTd. Ekiti/Kwara/Kogie. Benue/Plateau/Nassarawaf. Bauchi/Yobe/Bornog. Adamawa/Taraba/Gombeh. Lagos/Oguni. Oyo/Osun/Ondoj. Edo/Delta/Bayelsak. Rivers/Akwa-Ibom/Cross Riversl. Imo/Abiam. Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi
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;a. Governors in the Zone (to preside on rotational basis);b. Zonal AIG of Police;c. State Commissioners of Police in the Zone;d. State Directors of the Department of State Security Service;e. Zonal Immigration Officers;f. Zonal Customs Officers;g. Representative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps in the Zone;h. Representative of the Nigeria Correctional Service in the Zone;i. Chairmen of State Traditional Rulers Council in the Zonej. Faith-based Leaders in the Zone;k. Civil Society Representatives in the Zone;l. Representative of Senators from the Zone;m. Representative of Members of House of Representatives from the Zone;n. Representatives of Business Community and Labour in the Zone; ando. 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 was 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 a. The Armed Forces Act CAP A20 LFN 2004;b. National Security Agencies Act, LFN 2004;c. Police Act CAP P19, LFN 2004;d. Immigration Act, CAP P1 LFN 2004;e. Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (Establishment) Act NO 2, 2003 and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense (Amendment) Act No, 6. 2007;f. Customs and Excise Management Act CAP C45 LFN 2004;g. Nigerian Communications Commission Act CAP N94 LFN, 2004;h. The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act, No 23, 2007; andi. Review of the Evidence Act in the Judicial Administration.