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Opeyemi Bamidele: State police bill must address fears of abuse by governors

Opeyemi Bamidele: State police bill must address fears of abuse by governors
May 19
19:17 2024

Opeyemi Bamidele, the senate leader, says the bill seeking to establish the state police must address concerns of abuse by governors.

There have been calls for the creation of state police to address the myriad of security challenges in the country, but there are fears that governors could abuse the force.

In April, Kayode Egbetokun, inspector-general of police (IGP), said Nigeria is not “mature” for state police.

In an article entitled “In Search of a New Police Model,” Bamidele said the legal framework must set globally acceptable standards for the state police system.

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“At least, the two-thirds of the state parliaments must approve the proposal before it can become effective,” the majority leader said.

“In essence, the legal framework must be actionable and definite, evident and transparent, to allay public concern about the state police.

“It must convincingly address thorny issues that can, in the future, encourage the arbitrary use of state police by governors.

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“Providing a legal framework for the establishment of state police should not be confused with its actual implementation when eventually adopted. Each sub-national government is at liberty to set its own timeline for the operationalisation of state police within its jurisdiction.”

Bamidele said the state governments should be given the autonomy to determine the timing for establishing their police structures.

“Every state, already prepared for its operationalisation, can go ahead with it without further delay,” he said.

“The development of the legal framework will prevent sub-national governments from hiding under vigilante groups to arm people unconstitutionally.

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“But we must comprehensively set out the legal framework for establishing state police so that all sub-national governments can follow laid-down principles and procedures in a bid to protect people’s lives and secure collective assets.”

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