Insecurity: State Police Bill Scale 2nd Reading in House of Reps

From Lateef Taiwo

The controversial bill seeking to amend the 1999 constitution to make way for the establishment of state police in the country has scaled through second reading in the House of Representatives.

Although some lawmakers who spoke during the debate during plenary have expressed fear over the implementation of the state policing strategies across the country others believe that state policing will bring sanitary into the country most especially in tackling insecurity challenges.

In his lead debate for the bill, Hon Tolani Shagaya said the bill on state police will bring back the essence of true federalism and put the states in advantage position to address issues of insecurity within and across Nigeria.

Hon. Shagaya equally informed that the bill emerged as a necessary response to several calls for a decentralised and community-oriented approach to law
enforcement adding that it seeks to navigate the complex landscape of security challenges by empowering states with the means to address issues peculiar to their localities.

According to the lawmaker: “the proposed alteration represents not just a legal adjustment to our grundnorm, but a visionary leap towards a safer, more secure, and harmonious Nigeria”.

He, however, expressed confidence on the fruitful and full implementation of the state policing laws urging for massive support from his colleagues to actualize the aims and objectives of the bill in the country.

Consequently, some lawmakers who spoke on the key provisions of the proposed legislation disclosed that the bill comprises 18 clauses which includes: to alter Sections 34, 35, 39, 42, 84, 89 and 129 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999,as amended.

The proposed legislation also seeks to alter Sections 153, 197, 214, 215 and 216 of the Constitution stressing that it will also alter Chapter VI Part
IlI, Second Schedule, Part Il of the Third Schedule and Part I of the Third Schedule of the Constitution as well.

He further observed that currently, Nigeria has state policing policy in some states of the federation even as he mentioned the Amotekun security outfit which is currently in operation in States of the south-west.

The state police bill, lawmakers explained is seeking to legalize some security outfit formed by state government to enable them combat crime and illegalities.

Most of the state security outfit currently operational in Nigeria lack the legal backing, hence the move by lawmakers to support and ensure that they operate on the side of the law.

The bill which is sponsored by the deputy speaker of the House, Hon Benjamin Kalu and 14 other lawmakers was thereafter the passage referred to the House Committee on Constitution Review for further legislative actions.

Members who spoke against the proposed law have expressed fear that when eventually pass into law, some governors might use it against the political opponents.


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