A bill, titled, “Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2018”, sponsored by the leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, which seeks an amendment to the Nigerian Constitution to accommodate state and community policing scaled second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill seeks to delete item 45 from the exclusive legislative list and move it to the concurrent list.
Gbajabiamila, who led the debate on the bill, said Nigerians were united on state police in the face of killings in the country, and pointed out that with the passage of the bill, the federal government can look at smart ways to fund the state police
“…the good of the state police outweighs the bad,” he said.
Citing the example of the United States of America where people elect police chiefs which takes them off the whims and control of state governors, he noted that “It is not enough for us to talk, talk and just condemn killings, it is time for us to change the security architecture.”
In his contribution, Orker Jev said he was opposed to state police since the 6th Assembly but his view had changed in the face of the security challenges bedeviling the country.
However, the bill was opposed by some mebers.
One of them, Muhammed Monguno said instead of creating state police, ”the constitution should be amended so as to ensure the states get more funds.”
“State governors are finding it difficult to pay wages, adding state police to it is not acceptable. I do support amending the constitution so that states can get more money, then we can talk about state police,” he said.
Similarly, Henry Archibong observed that deleting schedule 45 which reads, “Police and other government security services established by law” would mean giving states power to create all sorts of security agencies.
At the end of the debate, the members voted in support of the bill and referred the ad hoc committee on constitution amendment.