Legislative process for establishment of state police in the country is to kick start in the Senate this week with the introduction of a bill for that purpose.
Draft of the bill which is to be sponsored by the former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu (PDP Enugu West) and co – sponsored by all the 58 members of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review, has already been done.
A copy of the draft exclusively obtained by Blueprint newspapers showed that, in other to avoid operational frictions between the planned states-owned police outfits and the federal police, functions and responsibilities are well specified.
Also, as a way of guiding against abuse of the outfits across the various states either by state governors or commissioners, mechanisms for checking such are also being proposed like State Police Service Commission, which will have membership from the various relevant professional bodies.
The draft bill reads in part : “State Police shall be organised and administered in accordance with such provisions as may be prescribed by a Law of the House of Assembly of a State subject to the framework and guidelines established by an Act of the National Assembly.
“Commissioner of police shall be appointed by the governor of the state on the advice of the National Police Service Commission, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the House of Assembly of the state.
“Shall be in office for a period of five years only or until he attains a retirement age prescribed by law, whichever is earlier.
“The governor may give to the commissioner of police such lawful directives with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the commissioner of police shall comply with those directives.
“Where the commissioner of police feels that any order given is unlawful or contradicts general policing standards or practice, he may request that the matter be referred to the State Police Service Commission for review.”
The draft bill also clearly makes provisions for procedures of removing commissioner of the state owned police command to guide against any form of arbitrary removal and enhance pprofessionalism.