At the plenary today, Senator Dr. Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora and NGOs and CSOs spoke in favour of the Police Bill seeking to repeal and replace the extant police Act.

The salient provisions in the Bill that he highlighted in speaking in support of the Bill are:

1. Stipulation of clear objectives and responsibilities of the Nigerian Police.

2. Provision on the need for police to respect fundamental rights of the people.

3. The provisions of the Police Council with clear responsibilities, particularly as it relates to the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police.

4. Clear provisions on appointment and removal of the IGP with 5 year tenure and clear circumstances as to conditions and procedure for the removal such that the tenure is not at the pleasure of the head of the Federal Executive.

5. Removal of gender discrimination

6. Power of delegation by the IGP

7. Clear provisions on Community Relation forum/Board

8. Training and retraining.

He, however, suggested that there is need for provision to specifically empower the IGP to coordinate and supervise the Commissioners of Police in their zones to address the problem of over centralisation.

The Bill has been sent to the Committee on police affairs after it passed second reading. The committee is expected to report within 14 days.

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