BREAKING: State Police Bill passes Second Reading at House of Reps

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 20, 20244 min

The State Police bill was proposed in the eighth assembly and the ninth assembly but failed. Now it has scaled a second reading in the tenth assembly.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed for second reading a Bill to establish State Police in the 36 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Rep. Muktar Shagaya (APC, Kwara) a co-sponsor of the Bill presented and led the debate at plenary but the Bill was originally sponsored by Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) and 15 others.

The piece of legislation is titled, “A  Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Establishment of State Police and for Related Matters (HB.617).

Rep. Awaji-inombek Abiante (PDP, Rivers) in his submission for the bill said “This State Police has been proposed in eighth assembly it failed, ninth assembly its failed and now tenth assembly so let us be careful to do the right thing so that we can sleep with our eyes closed.”

Rep . Aliyu Madaki (NNPP, Kano) on his part declared “What is happening in Zamfara is different from what is happening in Abia so I’m in full support of this bill. In the past, I’m one of those that vehemently opposed this Bill.”

Rep. Marie Enenimiete Ebikake (PDP, Bayelsa), “What we are talking about now is to arm the police legally. Let us not be myopic, let us not over-flog this issue. I wholeheartedly support this bill.”

The Chief Whip, Rep. Bello Kumo (APC, Gombe) in his contribution said, “İ support this Bill. Going by the submission and fears of my colleagues on sponsoring the police, even as speak, the police are not holistically sponsored by the federal government but most states and private organizations are the ones that fund the police. The bureaucracy of our country is making the funding of the police very difficult. While I support the bill I want us to have at the back of our minds that Nigeria is a cosmopolitan country. while I support this Bill I want us to look inward and do the right thing”

Rep. David Ogewu (PDP, Benue) added that “Establishment of State Police will bring an everlasting solution. If we can have State Police and their ways defined by the constitution then we must have solved insecurity in our nation.”

However, some lawmakers in the course of their contributions expressed fear of intimidation, coerciveness, and high-handedness by State governors against perceived enemies using state police apparatus.

Rep. Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) opined that “Some of the states we are planning on establishing this State Police are not economically viable. It is a noble idea but the truth is the State governor and the ruling parties of such states will be too powerful and will use it as an instrument of coercion.  Establishing a Police outfit is very expensive.” 

In the same vein, Rep. Obi Agoucha (LP, Abia) said “We should be concerned with interstate movement and commerce. We need to expand the mind of the Nigeria Police but as it stands we need to move past the intimidation till then I do not support the creation of a State Police.”

OrderPaper, in its Legislative Intelligence Forecast Entry (LIFE) article for the week, had predicted that the issue of state policing would be on the radar at the national assembly. read the full article here.

Elizabeth Atime

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