Bill on state police scales second reading in House
Written by crest887fm on July 7, 2021
The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow creation of state police and legalise regional security outfits.
The current police system will be decentralised by moving police from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List if the bill is eventually passed Into Law.
Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke, who sponsored the bill, said in the explanatory note that the bill seeks to alter the Constitution to provide for state police and other state government security services to enhance security and preservation of lives and properties in Nigeria.
The bill especially proposes an amendment to Section 197(1) by inserting new Paragraphs ‘e’ and ‘f’ to provide for ‘State Police Council’ and ‘State Police Service Commission,’ respectively.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, stated that creation of state police is long overdue with the current security crises across the country.
The House had earlier on June 9, 2021, approved a bill to amend the 1999 Constitution to recognise security outfits created by states to complement the Nigeria Police Force in the effort to protect lives and property.
Sponsored by Anthony Afe from Delta State, the legislation is titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to Give Legal Backing to State Security Outfit to Complement the Nigeria Police Force.’
Already, several states and geopolitical zones have established vigilante groups and security outfits with various codenames.
Prominent among them is the South-West Security Network Agency, popularly called Amotekun, which has chapters across the six states in the zone and the joint security and vigilante network in the South-East is codenamed, Ebube Agu.
While there is the religious Hisbah in some northern states, there is the Civilian Joint Task Force in states in the North-East fighting insurgency together with the Armed Forces.