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House of Representatives Move To Enact Law For State Police

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The House of Representatives has begun the process for devolution of powers as it seeks to reduce the Federal Government’s constitutional powers on the Nigerian Police Force.

According to the provisions of a draft bill seen by Sunday Tribune, the proposed legislation seeks to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Cap. C23 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to transfer ‘Item 45’ from the Exclusive List to Concurrent Legislative List and for related matters.

As stipulated in the Explanatory Notes of the bill, it seeks to “grant the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly the power to make laws with respect to the creation, formation and control of police and other government security services in Nigeria.”

The bill, which scaled through first reading before the House embarked on two-month recess, had been slated for second reading upon resumption.

The proposed bill, as seen by Sunday Tribune, was sponsored by the speaker of the House, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila.

According to the Clause 2 of the bill, the proponent seeks to amend Section 214 Subsection 1 of the Principal Act, line 2, by deleting the clause; “and subject to the provisions of this section, no other Police Force shall be established for the federation or any part thereof.”

The bill also seeks to amend the Principal Act by creating new ‘sections 217 and 218’ as follows: “217 (1): There shall be a Police Force in each state of the federation.

“(2) Subject to the provisions of this constitution: (a) A State Police Force shall be organised and administered in accordance with such provisions as may be prescribed by an Act of the State House of Assembly. (b) Members of State Police shall have powers and duties as may be conferred upon them by law.

“218 (1): There shall be: (a) A Commissioner of Police who shall be appointed by the governor on the advice of the State Police Council from among serving members of the State Police Force.

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