By Waziri Isa Adam

The Director General of Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Professor Muhammad Tawfiq Ladan, has outlined the constitutional and legal frameworks for the successful establishment of state Police in the 36 states of the federation.

The Director General who spoke yesterday at a One Day National Dialogue on Security and State Police, organized by the House of Representatives, at Abuja Continental Hotel, hailed both the federal and state governments’ recent consensus on the necessity of establishing State Police in the country, described the decision as a decisive move that underscores the country’s urgent quest for enhanced security measures.

From left is Vice President, Kashim Shettima, while on his left is General Abdussalam Abubakar, former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Yobe State Governor, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam

This strategic move, to reinforce the more than 300,000 strong National Police Force in Africa’s most populous nation (needing about 200,000 more officers to meet the minimum benchmark of the United Nation’s recommended ratio of one police officer to about 450 citizens), reflects a proactive approach to decentralized policing to meet better the unique security needs of citizens and people living and pursuing legitimate interests in the 36 states of the federation.

“This approach is also considered with the guiding principles of the federation enshrined in the preamble and section 2 of the 1999 constitution, as amended”, he stressed.

Professor Ladan said, the institutional and legal frameworks for state policing in Nigeria, which was the topic of his paper presentation, is a paradigm shift from a single policing framework that is unitary and and centralized in nature and practice, to a DUAL policing framework that is decentralized, cooperative, collaborative and a hybrid policing model that translates our constitutional federalism, into refined practices on policing in countries like Brazil, India, USA, Canada and Spain.

Former Military Head of State, General Abdussalam Abubakar having a handshake with the DG, Prof Ladan

Professor Ladan stressed that to facilitate the successful establishment of state Police in the 36 states of Nigeria, based on a DUAL Policing framework, the federal and state governments must establish a 3-step reformed structures that includes Institutional Frameworks of state policing to be headed by the Governor of a state, who is also the Chief Security Officer of the state, under whom there should be a Director General of Police (DGP), State Police Service Commission and Police Advisory Council.

He elaborated that, while the Director General, to be appointed by the Governor, should be saddled with the responsibilities of general operational and administrative control of the state Police, maintenance of law and order in the state, and enforcement of state laws within the state; the State Police Service Commission should be in charge of the overseeing body of the Police, and be responsible for the appointments, promotions and discipline of all Police officers except the DGP; the State Police Advisory Council should be responsible for the general supervision of the Police and to advice the Governor on the appointment and removal of the DGP.

The DG NIALS, Prof Ladan (Left), with the former Minister of Interior and One time Chief of Army Staff, General Abdurahman Danbazau

Professor Ladan further elaborated that under the office of the DGP, there should six departments which he named as – Operations, Investigations/Intelligence, Administrations/Finance, Logistics and Supply, Research, Planning, Training & ICT, and Community Policing departments.

He further suggested that under the DGP’s office, there should be a command structure that comprises of Deputy DGP, Chief of Police LGA HQ, Deputy Cop-Divisional HQ, Superintendent of Police Ward, Police Inspectors – village sergeant, Major Sergeant, & Corporal and Constable.

He also suggested that under the office of the DGP, there should be organizational/operational structure that comprise of State Capital HQ, LG HQ, Divisional HQ, Police Station and Village Police Post.

Shedding more light on what the organizational chart of the Police Advisory Council should look like, Professor Ladan said the state Governor of a state should be the Chairman of the Advisory Council, under whom there should be –All LG Chairmen of a state, Chairman of the State Police Service Commission, Attorney General/ Commissioner of Justice, Head, State Council of Traditional Rulers and the DGP.

Host of the Program, Rt Hon Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Dr Tajuddeen Abbas with the DG, Prof Ladan

He said, the Governor will also be expected to chair the Police Service Commission, which should have a Secretary under whose supervision there should be four departments to comprise of Recruitment, Promotions, Discipline and Admin/Finance departments. There should also be a Commissioner under the Chairman.

Speaking on supportive constitutional provisions, Professor Ladan cited sections 14(2) (b) – which says the primary purpose of government is to promote the security and welfare of all people; section 318 (1), which defines government to include the government of the federation, or of any state, or of any local government council or any person who exercises power or authority on its behalf.

The Legal Scholar who said even though there are many supportive constitutional provisions in favour of the creation of State Police in the country, there are also contradictory constitutional provisions undermining State Policing needing amendments.

He also stressed the need to ensure cooperation and standardization of procedures across federal and state police forces, mobilize resources to support state police operations, prioritize inter-agency collaboration to enhance capacity in crime detection, investigation and prosecution, in information/intelligence sharing and in community engagement or policing.

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