…Okays 5-year term for IG
Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris has rejected subjection of the confirmation of appointment of any police officer nominated by the Presidency for the office of Inspector General.
Idris also disapproves suggested appointment of only one Deputy Inspector General (DIG) at the Force headquarters while he okayed a recommended five years tenure for a sitting IGP.
The Inspector General on Wednesday made these submissions at the Public Hearing on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Act CAP P19 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Enact the Police Act 2018 (SB 682) held by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs.
Idris, who has been having face-off with the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly did not hide his resentment to Senate confirmation of persons nominated for the position of Inspector General by faulting the recommendation of the Police Affairs Committee.
He said while the proposed Bill will help in reforming the Police and reposition it in its key role in administration of justice, “there are a few observations by the Police Force.
He said the confirmation and removal of Inspector General of Police by the Senate should be expunged from the bill.
“The Police are of the view that the requirement for confirmation of the Senate for the appointment and removal of the Inspector General of Police in office will tend to politicize the office of the Inspector General of Police.
“This will disadvantage the Police in its efforts to fight crime and criminality in the society. It is therefore suggested that the requirement for confirmation for the appointment and removal of the Inspector General of Police be expunged from the Bill as it will make the Police less professional in its operations.
“The appointment of the Inspector General of Police by the President on the advice of the Police Service Commission without the Senate confirmation is the desire of the Police and should be made to remain in that way.
“The inclusion of removal procedures of the Inspector General of Police which requires that an Inspector General should not be removed from office except on report of gross misconduct or on grounds of incapacity to perform his duties is appropriate and should also be maintained”.
Commenting on the recommendation of the bill that only one Deputy Inspector General of Police should be appointed, Idris said this will no doubt affect effective administration of the Force.
He said “presently I have 7 DIGs working with me at the Force headquarters, reducing them to just only one DIG will be retrogressive”, considering the enormity of administrative and operational responsibilities attached to the office of the IGP.
Declaring the public hearing open, Senate President, represented by the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah who incidentally sponsored the bill, said the Police in the country should be up to the task in securing lives and properties of Nigerians and expatriates.
He said the 75 years old colonial laws under which the Police operate need to be repealed and new laws enacted to put the Force abreast of modern day policing in line with global best practice.
Saraki said the new law, when enacted will guarantee better performance of Police and adequate protection of citizens fundamental rights and privileges under the law.
The Senate President also advocated a comprehensive review of funding framework for the police force.
Chairman, Police Service Commission, Mr. Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General said the Commission agreed totally with majority of the recommendations made in the bill, stressing that, if passed into law and effectively implemented, will improve the police service.
However, Smith noted that the Police Affairs Committee could recommend adequate accommodation of officers and men of the Nigeria Police in Police environment for efficient service delivery.
He said more policemen should be accommodated in barracks nationwide while more living quarters should be provided for officers.
“More men should be in Police environment, barracks for the junior ranks and officers quarters for senior officers. This will make them to behave well and be well disciplined Police”, he said.
Sponsor of the bill, Senator Ibn Na’Allah said Nigeria Police which was in the past as one of the best Police force in the world, has regrettably has its credibility eroded.
He said the Police force has suffered in the hands of politicians and even the general public.
“Every attempt to insulate the police as responsible institution has failed. There are so many allegations against the police. Police need to be insulated from politics and politicians”, he said.
The Oba of Lagos, His Royal Highness, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, who retired as an Assistant Inspector General of Police advocated for improve welfare for policemen.
He also called on legislators to reduce their salaries and allowances to create enough fund for Police welfare.
The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the Etsu Nupe were represented at the Public hearing.
Tunde Opalana, Abuja