Senate moves to modernize Nigeria Police

OrderPaperToday – The Senate has passed for second reading, a bill to repeal the Police Act of 1943 and introduce a stream of reforms to make for modern and more equipped policing in the country.
The Sponsor of the bill, Bala Na’allah on Tuesday lamented the obsolete provisions in the act in relation to the prevailing insecurity across the country.
In a lead debate, Na’Allah declared that there is need for the establishment of a service-oriented and modern Police that will meet globally acceptable policing standards in a democratic setting.
Section 5 deals with the modernization of the current Police Force changing it from a force to an organisation that is geared towards protecting and safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens.
Part III of the bill comprising of section 9(a) 9 (b),10, 11,12,13,14,15 and 16 creates an hierarchy in the police.
A provision is made to prevent a police officer from being a prosecutor in a matter that he or she participated in for a fair trial, as contained in section 24 (2) of the bill.
Section 28 grants bail to persons arrested without warrant and they should not to be kept in detention for not more than 24 hours if the person has not been charged to court.
Speaking further on the bill, the Deputy Senate leader highlighted that Section 38 deals with offences and section 31 concentrates on punishing officers found drinking while on duty or with any form of intoxicating substance.
This provision is intended to deal with abuse of weapons by police officers.
The Bill also ensures that the police and police officers are held accountable in their actions especially in the areas of arrest and detention of persons and searches.
Participatory community policing is included in Section 60, 61 of the bill to enable a form of Partnership between a community and the police.
Part 13 of section 78 provides the establishment of an independent complaint authority to receive and investigate and effectively deal with complaints against police officers misconduct from the public.
There would also be the establishment of a Community Police and Boards in all the States of the Federation that will consist of broad representatives of the community and the State to ensure effective, as detailed in Section 39 of the bill.
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