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Insecurity: Lawyers back creation of state police



Insecurity: Lawyers back creation of state police

By Chinyere Omeire

Some Lagos-based lawyers have appealed to the National Assembly to amend the constitution and include creation of state police to eradicate rising insecurity in the country.

The lawyers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that it had become imperative to create state police in the face of rising insecurity across the country.

The practitioners worry over loss of lives because of undue delay and protocol involved in getting consent from the Federal Government.

Mr Chibuikem Opara, a rights campaigner with Justification Law Firm, Ikeja, said that the idea of state police was long overdue, especially with the current happenings in the country.

According to Opara, the governors are called chief security officers of their various states but in actual sense they cannot successfully call on commissioners of police of their states without reference to Abuja.

He pointed out that lives had been lost in the past because of undue delay and protocol involved in getting consent from the Federal Government.

“State police will make administration easier and the multiplier effect include job creation, reducing the pressure on the Federal Government as well as enhance security and lives, among other things.

“Those who oppose the idea of state police are of the view that it will become an instrument of witch hunt in the hands of egoistic governors.

“I believe such fear is unfounded,” Opara said.

Chief Osuala Nwagbara, the Managing Partner, Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, agreed that creating state police had become a matter of urgency in the face of the growing insecurity in the country.

Nwagbara said that it laid in the hands of members of the National Assembly and the various states assemblies to invoke provisions of Section 9(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“If members of the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly still have any steam of patriotism in them, this is the time to let out the steam, for national rebirth and survival,” Nwagbara said.

He, however, advised that when state police are created, governors should empower them with adequate training and provide sufficient equipment to deal with crimes in their respective states of jurisdiction.

He added that other levels of security architecture should be built within the states such as community security and village vigilante networks to work hand in hand with the state police.

“This will help a great deal in checkmating criminality in the states at all levels,” the managing partner said.

He also urged the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.

Also, Mr Bayo Akinlade, former Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Ikorodu Branch, urged the National Assembly to amend the constitution and include state policing for the future of the country.

”The security of the citizens are in the hands of the leaders. It is therefore, important that they should take up the mantle of leadership and phase out this growing insecurity for the benefit of all,” Akinlade said.

However, Mr Chris Ayiyi, Principal Partner, Ayiyi Chambers, said he would not subscribe to creation of state police in Nigeria but regional police.

Ajayi said: “the six geo-political zones should have their regional police, let’s see the effectiveness, thereafter, we can narrow it down to state police.

“A section of the constitution can be amended to accommodate the reality of insecurities on the land.

“The current practice has failed us, we need to move forward and test run another system.” (NAN)


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