Senate Passes Police Reform Bill

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Senator Bukola Saraki
Senate President, Bukola Saraki

NIGERIAN Senate Wednesday passed the police reform bill.

The bill, aimed at improving policing standards in the country, will now be transmitted to the House of Representative for concurrence.

The bill draft, discussed and approved by an interagency committee, was first presented to the House of Representatives in 2005.

Between 2005 and 2018, many other drafts were presented to both chambers of the National Assembly.

The bill recently gained high public interests following the several killings of innocent Nigerians by police men.

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Police brutality has been in the public eye in the past three weeks during which some trigger-happy members of the Lagos State policemen have killed, at least, four innocent Lagosians – the fifth still hospitalized.

The reform will enable the establishment of a service-oriented and modern Police that will meet globally acceptable policing standards in a democratic setting.

Also, the bill is expected to foster the modernisation of the current police force (which was conceptualized and established in the Colonial environment to protect colonial interests).

The bill will birth the establishment of guiding principles to ensure effective policing in Nigeria which will include efficiency and effectiveness; accountability, and transparency; protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms; and partnership with other security institutions.

Clauses that mandate record keeping by the police and that citizens are fully protected from abuse by Police officers are also included in the bill.

Community Police and Boards in all the States of the Federation will be established should the bill be finally passed to law.

An independent complaint authority will also be created to receive and investigate and effectively deal with complaints against police officers misconduct from the public.

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