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The Senate has called for the de-centralization of the Nigeria Police Force and the need for community policing as a way of addressing the country’s problem of insecurity.
This formed part of the recommendations of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges which was considered and approved during plenary on Tuesday.
Recall that the upper chamber had set up an Ad-hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges on January 29, 2020, under the Chairmanship of the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya A. Abdullahi.
The Senate Spokesman, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said in a statement that the committee, in its report, made wide ranging recommendations which were also approved by the chamber.
It urged 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.
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to set up Zonal Security Advisory Committees at each Zonal Command to advise on the security challenges facing each zone.
The composition of the Zonal Advisory Council as proposed by the upper chamber include; Governors in the Zone; 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; and Representative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps in the Zone.
Others are: 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, accordingly, 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, and traditional rulers with a view to addressing local security challenges.
The upper chamber while urging the state assemblies to make necessary laws to legalize community policing to be established at the Local Government level, called on State Governors to fund 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; and
i. Review of the Evidence Act in the Judicial Administration.
In another development,the Senate today considered two Motions, one was on the status of the 5G network in Nigeria which was sponsored by Senator Ekwunife Uche Lilian, while the second Motion was 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 in its resolution statef 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 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 was not in accordance with the provision of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000 or any other extant law.
Howeer ,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.