Senate Seeks Decentralisation of Nigeria Police


•Backs community policing initiative
•Investigates status of 5G network in Nigeria

Deji Elumoye and Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Senate yesterday called for the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police as part of efforts to boost the protection of lives and property.

It also resolved to probe the status of fifth generation (5G) network in the country.
The Senate urged the 36 state Houses of Assembly to pass laws that would legalise community policing in their respective states.

The Senate, in resolving to adopt the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee on Nigerian Security Challenges, headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, called for the expansion of the states’ security councils and constitution of area command, local government and ward level advisory councils.

These were the high points of the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee report on the urgent need to restructure, review and re-organise the current security architecture, which was considered and approved in the Senate yesterday.

The committee, set up on January 29, 2020, in its report, made recommendations, which were also approved by the Senate.

The Senate, therefore, urged the executive to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Inspector General of Police to “decentralise the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers” vested in the following 11 zonal commands: Kano/Jigawa/Katsina, Sokoto/Zamfara/Kebbi, Kaduna/Niger/ FCT, Ekiti/Kwara/Kogi, Benue/Plateau/Nasarawa, Bauchi/Yobe/Borno and Adamawa/Taraba/Gombe.
Other commands are: Lagos/Ogun, Oyo/Osun/Ondo, Edo/Delta/Bayelsa, Rivers/Akwa-Ibom/Cross Rivers, Imo/Abia and Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi.

The Senate also urged the federal government to set up zonal security advisory committees at each zonal commands to advise on the security challenges facing each zone.

The proposed composition of the zonal advisory council include governors in the zone (to preside on a rotational basis); zonal Assistant Inspector-General of Police; state commissioners of police in the zone; state directors of the Department of State Security Service; zonal immigration officers; zonal customs officers; representatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Correctional Service in the zone.

Others are chairmen of state traditional rulers’ council in the zone, faith-based leaders in the zone; civil society representatives; representatives of senators, House of Representatives members, business community and labour in the zone as well as 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.

It also called on the state Houses of Assembly to legalise community policing and for governors to fund the community policing from grants appropriated to each local government.

The federal government is also to financially support community policing initiative with an annual grant.
The Senate resolved that the following laws are to be amended immediately. They include: 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 Defence Corps (Establishment) Act NO 2, 2003.

Others include Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (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 yesterday also resolved to probe the status of 5G network in the country.
This was a sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Senator Uche Ekwenife, asking four standing committees to determine the status of 5G network in the country.

The investigating committees are: Communications, Science and Technology, ICT and Cybercrimes, which would determine the technological impact of the 5G network on Nigerians.
The four committees, led by the communications committee headed by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, are to report back to plenary within four weeks.

Ekwunife, in her motion, drew attention to the fact that “the uncertainty on whether or not the 5G network has been launched in Nigeria will continue to fuel speculations and rumour concerning the deployment of the 5G network and its effects on citizens of Nigeria.”

According to her, it has become a source of concern that the deployment of the network in urban areas would lead to the installment of “a strong radiating mobile communications antenna approximately every 100 metres, producing a radiation tsunami and taking up to a 1,000 fold increase in the transmission power.”

She expressed her desire to investigate the true status of 5G network in the country with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are not exposed to an unreasonable risk of great bodily injury.