Kick against deductions for Police Trust Fund
By Chuks Okocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has called for a repeal of sections of the Police Act recently accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that they breached the Nigerian Constitition.
This was contained in a communique issued yesterday after a Zoom meeting held by the PDP governors.
The communique was signed by the Chairman of the forum, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who is also the governor of Sokoto State. The governors among other things, urged the president and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which “purportedly authorises the President to deduct 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.”
According to the governors, the said deduction is patently unconstitutional.
The communiqué read in part, “The meeting noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr. President, Commander in Chief.
“While acknowledging the many important innovations in the new law, the Forum emphasised the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr. President as Chairman and 36 state Governors as members, fully operational and the clearing house on all issues bordering on the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
“The Forum further observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States. Whereas S.12(2) gives the responsibility to the Police Service Commission, S. 12(4) gives either the Police Service Commission or Inspector-General of Police the same responsibility.
“This is even more regrettable as the Constitution gives this responsibility to the Police Service Commission (S. 215) (1)(b). We advise that the constitutional provision be upheld.
“Furthermore, the Forum canvassed for appropriate consultations with the Governors of various States on the deployment of Police Commissioners to the States since the Police is a common institution that executes the laws of both the Federal and State governments.
“The Forum implored Mr. President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purports to authorise the President to deduct 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, as it is patently unconstitutional.
“The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the Federal, States and Local Governments only. More creative funding options should be explored.”
The PDP governors also expressed concerns over the controversy surrounding the Water Resources Bill, 2020.
“Towards this end, the governors called for greater consultations just as they referred the document to the body of Attorney Generals of PDP controlled states to study and advise accordingly,” it added.
Governors who attended the zoom meeting include: Tambuwal (Sokoto), Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Mr. Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Senator Bala Muhammad (Bauchi); and Senator Douye Diri (Bayelsa).
Others are: Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Mr. Dave Umahi (Ebonyi); Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Mr. Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Mr. Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Mr. Bello Muhammad Matawalle (Zamfara).