The National Conference has approved the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force paving the way for states to establish their own police.
This resolution, when passed into law, would put to rest the prolonged debacle over the establishment of state police. When created by states that desire them, state police are to complement the efforts of the federal police.
The federal police would have jurisdiction over the entire country and on clearly spelt out matters and offences, while the jurisdiction of the state police will be limited to the states and operate within the ambit of the laws enacted by the State Assembly.
Similarly, the conference also resolved that in addition to establishing state police, states’ laws should also provide for community policing.
These far-reaching decisions were arrived at while considering the report of the National Conference Committee on National Security.
The conference concurred with the committee’s report that state governors should be involved in the running of the federal police in their respective states. It was also agreed that officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in the federal police should be deployed in their states of origin.
The committee reasoned that such a move would address the language and culture barriers.
To make the police more people-friendly, the conference called for the amendment of section 214 of the 1999 Constitution so as to reflect the change of name from the Nigeria Police Force to “The Nigeria Police”.
The conference, however, said that only states that felt that they had the capacity to fund and kit them should establish state police.