Two-Year Timeline for State Police Amendment Process Set to Test Nigerians’ Patience

Nigerians advocating for the establishment of state police may face a prolonged wait, as the process to amend the 1999 constitution to enable this initiative could span two years.

According to the work plan unveiled by the committee on constitution review, chaired by Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, the constitution amendment process is slated to run from January 2024 to December 2025.

Francis Waive, Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, disclosed in an interview with The PUNCH that the amendment of the Nigeria Police Act to accommodate state police would be part of this extensive process, similar to other issues concerning constitutional review.

The House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review intends to engage with state governors, traditional rulers, and leaders of faith-based organizations in June regarding the state police bill, demonstrating a serious commitment to the initiative.

In February, the Federal Government established a committee, including governors, to explore the feasibility of creating state police in response to the country’s deteriorating security situation.

The state police bill, sponsored by Kalu and 14 others, passed its second reading on February 20, 2024. It aims to amend relevant sections of the constitution to allow states to establish their policing outfits, shifting policing from the Exclusive Legislative List to the concurrent list.

The proposed bill comprises 18 clauses, targeting sections of the constitution related to policing, among others. The engagement planned with governors in June seeks to garner support for the amendment when the bill reaches state assemblies.

Despite the urgency of addressing security challenges, the lengthy timeline for the amendment process has raised concerns among experts and stakeholders.

Former Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ali Amodu, criticized the two-year timeline, emphasizing the urgency of implementing state policing to address the country’s security needs.

Similarly, security expert Afolabi Solanke argued against the extended timeframe, asserting that the issue of state policing is an emergency requiring prompt action.

Dr. Kabir Adamu, a security risk consultant, emphasized the importance of a thorough process but cautioned against wastefulness, urging for tangible results in addressing Nigeria’s security challenges.


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