A CONVERGENCE OF NATIONAL AND STATE POLICE SYSTEMS AS A MEANS OF ACHIEVING IMPROVED
POLICING IN NIGERIA
1. Self-preservation is a fundamental human instinct. Accordingly, the safety of lives and property is of paramount importance to individuals, groups, and nations. Nation-states and other levels of human communities seek to optimize the security of citizens, inhabitants, neighbourhoods, and environments. Among the strategies usually emplaced towards achieving this end state of security, is the establishment and maintenance of institutions for the provision of security services; enforcement of laws; and maintenance of societal order.
2. The institutions for optimization of security include the armed forces; emergency management agencies; and police forces among others. Police forces are established principally to perform duties aimed at ensuring internal security; crime prevention and detection; law enforcement; and maintenance of public order. The legal provisions for the establishment and maintenance of police forces vary from country to country. Thus, while in some countries the power to establish police forces is decentralized; in others such powers are centralized.
3. In the United States of America (USA), with 50 states and a population of 328,054,892, the power to establish police forces is decentralized. In this regard, there is no standing national police force. Various states and other levels of human communities such as municipal councils, counties and universities can establish their own police. As at 2016 the ratio of sworn law enforcement officers to 1000 people in the USA was placed at 2.17, this equals 1: 460, thus falling below the United Nations (UN) recommended ratio of one police officer to 400 people. In 2016 the US ranked 103 out of 163 countries on the global peace index. In that same year, Iceland ranked first out of 163 despite a ratio of one policeman to 15,000 people. This shows that the ratio of police officers to the population possibly has an insignificant influence on peace and security.
4. In South Africa, with 9 provinces, and an estimated population of about 57.7 million as at 1 Jul 18, the power to legislate on the police and other government security agencies is vested exclusively in the national parliament. Hence the country has only one centralized police force, known as South African Police Service (SAPS). It is headed by a National Commissioner usually appointed by the President. Thus South Africa though running a federal system of government has a centralized police force.
5. Nigeria has a centralized or national policing system. The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is primarily responsible for ensuring internal security throughout the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, and a population of 198 million people. This is predicated on the provisions of Section 214 Subsection (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) which states that there shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the NPF, and subject to the provisions of this section no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof. Also Item 45, of Part I of the Second Schedule of the Constitution clearly outlines ‘police’ in the Exclusive Legislative List (ELL). As such only, the National Assembly (NASS) can legislate on police. Accordingly, there is only one police force in Nigeria with constitutional authority to function nationwide. It is known as the NPF.
6. Despite the employment of the NPF, Nigeria polity has been confronted by various conflicts and security challenges over the years. These include political upheavals and riots, civil war, and internal boundary conflicts among states. Some of the contemporary security challenges facing Nigeria include insurgency, kidnapping for ransom, separatist agitations, killings by armed militias, and violent conflicts involving livestock pastoralists.
7. In response to these challenges, there are calls for the amendment of Nigeria’s Constitution to allow for the establishment of police forces by state governments. Advocates of this position argue that the answer to the challenges lies with the establishment of ‘state police’. Antagonists argue vehemently against it, adducing several reasons for the retention of the current constitutional provision about the establishment of police.
8. The purpose of this paper is to make recommendations for improved policing in Nigeria. The paper will cover an overview of policing systems in Nigeria, challenges of national police system and implications of proposed state police system, as well as a convergence of national police and state police systems as a strategy for improved policing in Nigeria. A basic understanding of the functions and operational structure of the NPF is assumed. The paper will be limited to the period from 2013 to 2018 when the debates about state police have become more intense.
9. The aim of this paper is to discuss the national police system and the proposed state police system in Nigeria with a view to making recommendations.
OVERVIEW OF POLICING SYSTEMS IN NIGERIA
10. At various periods in the geographical space now called Nigeria, policing systems have evolved from certain practices and traditions of aboriginal Nigerians; actions and proclamations of the British colonialists in Nigeria; as well as appropriate statutory provisions. An overview of policing systems in Nigeria is discussed subsequently within the contexts of the pre-colonial, colonial, and early post-colonial eras.
POLICING SYSTEMS IN PRE-COLONIAL NIGERIA
11. Policing systems in pre-colonial Nigeria centred on relevant practices and traditions of various aboriginal inhabitants of the territory now called Nigeria. Prior to the colonization of Nigeria which began with the annexation of Lagos by the British in 1861, most of the over 250 ethnic groups and languages that make up present-day Nigeria existed. Nigeria’s ethnic diversity has influenced violent conflicts in the country, including the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-1970. It is, therefore, necessary to emplace a policing system that will inspire confidence while ensuring the safety and security of all citizens and residents regardless of their ethnicity or location.
12. In pre-colonial Nigeria, communities within the over 250 ethnicities existed variously as villages, towns, city-states, kingdoms, and empires. For example, the Yoruba; Hausa; Fulani; and Kanuri ethnic groups had the Ife Kingdom and Oyo Empire; Zaria kingdom; Sokoto Caliphate; and the Karnem-Bornu Empire respectively. These and other relatively less organized cultures had systems for ensuring communal safety; and enforcement of laws and customs. The Yoruba had the Ogboni and Osugbo cults, with designated officials that not only conducted investigations into criminal and civil matters but also enforced laws and decisions of the traditional rulers. The Hausa monarchs had palace guards known as ‘Dogari’, whose duties included effecting arrests of culprits and enforcing the monarchs’ decisions. The Igbo communities used the age grade system to check the excesses of deviants, collect community levies, as well as enforce sanctions generally. Able-bodied male youths were usually tasked to perform night watch duties over their various communities. Thus, some functions performed by these traditional institutions were akin to the functions of present-day police organisations. However, unlike the contemporary policing profession, their functions were generally part-time, and not formally remunerated. With the advent of the colonialists and the introduction of their own style of policing, many of the systems became inhibited. Though some of the systems still exist in present-day Nigeria, they are subsumed under the modern day law enforcement mechanisms and remain largely informal.
POLICE SYSTEMS IN COLONIAL NIGERIA
13. Police systems in colonial Nigeria were essentially in accordance with how the British colonialists desired. Between 1861 and 1903, the British conquered and colonized Lagos and the remaining parts of what is now known as Nigeria. As they conquered the different areas, they created police forces in those areas in order to secure their interests and exercise their powers. This marked the introduction of policing in its organised form into Nigeria. The police forces that were established within that period included the Consular Guard in the Lagos colony, the Royal Niger Company Constabulary in Lokoja, the Niger Coast Constabulary in Calabar, as well as Native Authority and Local Government Police. The native authority police were under the control of traditional rulers in the Western and Northern parts of Nigeria.
14. In 1900, the colonialists proclaimed the Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria protectorates. Thus the Lagos Colony and the rest of Southern Nigeria became the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, while the Northern part of Nigeria became the Northern Nigeria Protectorate. Sequel to this proclamation police forces in Southern Nigeria were merged and became Southern Nigeria Police Force with the exception of the native authority and local government Police Forces which were left to exist. The Royal Niger Company Constabulary was used to form the Northern Nigeria Police Force. On 1 Apr 30, the Northern Nigeria Police Force and Southern Nigeria Police Force were merged to form the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). This was the beginning of a National Police System in Nigeria as the NPF had the entire country as its Area of Responsibility (AOR).
POLICE SYSTEMS IN POST- COLONIAL NIGERIA
15. Police systems in post-colonial Nigeria will be discussed within the contexts of 2 broad periods: – early post-colonial and contemporary post-colonial eras. The early post-colonial era covers from 1 Oct 60 – 15 Jan 66, when Nigeria operated the 1960 and 1963 constitutions; as well as from 15 Jan 66 – 30 Sep 79, when Nigeria had military governments. The contemporary post-colonial era covers from 1 Oct 79 – 30 Sep 18. At various intervals, within this era, Nigeria operated the 1979 constitution from 1 Oct 79 – 31 Dec 83. The country also came under series of military regimes from 31 Dec 83 – 28 May 99; and is currently operating the 1999 constitution since 29 May 99 till date.
16. Police Systems in Early Post-colonial Nigeria. Police systems in early post-colonial Nigeria were predicated on relevant provisions of the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions of the Federation of Nigeria, as well as on the dictates of the military regimes that ruled from 15 Jan 66 – 30 Sep 79. The relevant provisions of 1960 and 1963 constitutions are essentially the same. Contents of the complete provisions of section 98 of the 1960 Constitution of the Federation of Nigeria are at Annex A. The contents of the relevant portions of the 1963 constitution are also at Enclosure 1. The annex and enclosure present details of the relevant constitutional provisions. They also evidence the fact that the contents of both constitutions, in regard to the police are similar.
17. The relevant provisions of the 1960 constitution are contained in Section 98, Subsections (1), (4), (7), and (8). Section 98, Subsection (1) of the 1960 Constitution of the Federation of Nigeria established the NPF. Section 98, Subsection (4) stated that “Subject to the provisions of this section, no police forces other than the Nigeria Police Force shall be established for Nigeria or any part thereof.” However, Section 98, Subsection (7) authorized the regional parliaments to legislate on native authority or local government police forces, to operate within the provinces. Specifically, Section 98, Subsection (7) of the constitution provided as follows:
Nothing in this section shall prevent the legislature of a Region from making provision for the maintenance by any native authority or local-government authority established for a province or any part of a province of a police force for employment within that province.
18. Section 98, Subsection (8) clarified that ‘province’ referred to provinces that existed as at 30 Sep 54. Thus, while the regional parliaments could create police forces that had powers, duties, and responsibilities limited to the provinces and local government areas, they could not create police forces with region-wide responsibilities. In other words, they could create native authority or local government police forces but they could not create regional police forces.
19. From the time of independence until the 1966 coup, the police system in Nigeria remained unchanged. Although the NPF had policing responsibilities over the entire country, the Native Authority Police and Local Government Police still existed in the Northern and Western parts of Nigeria respectively. However, in 1966 under the military government led by Major General JTU Aguiyi Ironsi, a committee was tasked to investigate and recommend to the government whether or not the existence of local government and native authority police was still necessary. Before the completion of the committee’s assignment, Gen. Ironsi’s government was overthrown and Gen. Yakubu Gowon became the Head of State. On completing the task the committee’s report was submitted to the Federal Government.
20. In the report, the committee observed that local government and native authority police forces were corrupt, ill-trained, politically biased, and used as agents for the subjugation of opponents, by politicians, heads of local governments, and traditional rulers in the northern and western regions of Nigeria. Consequently, the committee recommended the abrogation of local government and native authority police. The recommendation was upheld and native authority and local government police forces were therefore disbanded. This left the NPF as the only police force existing in Nigeria and marked the beginning of the existence of a centralized and exclusive police system in Nigeria. The system remained in place throughout the military era up to 30 Sep 79.
21. Police Systems in Contemporary Post-colonial Nigeria. The police system in contemporary post-colonial Nigeria is essentially a carryover of what obtained as at 30 Sep 79. On 1 Oct 79, another civilian government was sworn in under the Constitution of the FRN, 1999. Section 194 Subsection (1) of the constitution stated that;
There shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be styled the Nigeria Police Force and subject to the provisions of this section no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof.
22. However, unlike the 1960 and 1963 constitutions, the 1979 constitution did not make provisions for the creation of local government police by the state houses of assembly (SHAs), neither did it provide for the creation of state police forces. Rather the 1979 constitution included the ‘police’ as an item on the ELL. Contents of the exclusive legislative list of the Constitution of the FRN, 1979 is at Enclosure 3. The Annex buttresses the fact that ‘police’ is an item on the ELL. Thus, the first constitutional provision for the existence of NPF to the exclusion of any other police force in Nigeria is traceable to Section 194, Subsection (1) of the Constitution of the FRN 1979. The 1979 constitution had no provisions similar to Section 98 Subsection (7) of the 1960 constitution of the Federation of Nigeria. If there had been a similar provision, the SHAs which could be described as archetypes of the regional parliaments under the 1960 constitution, would have been constitutionally empowered under the 1979 constitution to create local government police forces.
23. On 31 Dec 83, the civilian government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari that was sworn in under the 1979 constitution was overthrown in a military coup. From 31 Dec 83 to 28 May 99, Nigeria had 4 successive military governments. Within that period the existence of the NPF to the exclusion of any other police force at whatever level was sustained. However, on 1 Nov 89, the government of General IB Babangida approved a policy for the deployment of police personnel of the ranks of Deputy Superintendent of Police and below to their states of origin. The policy was aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the NPF especially regarding the aspects of intelligence gathering, crime prevention, and detection, as well as community policing. The decision agrees with Sun Tzu’s maxim on war, which says, “if you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know heaven and know earth, you may make your victory complete.” This view was affirmed by CP ES Ojukwu (Rtd), as he asserted during an interview that the reasoning behind the decision was that personnel at those ranks serving in their home states would better understand the terrains, languages, cultures and social nuances of the environments, thus leading to improved policing. While this is true, there is also the need to ensure that problems are thoroughly analysed before deciding on options for solving them. The policy was dropped not too long after the commencement of its implementation. According to CP Ibezimako Aghanya (Rtd), the discontinuation of the policy was due to problems associated with its implementation. He stated that many of the redeployed police personnel got involved in such unprofessional conducts as involvement in land and chieftaincy dispute in their home states. In some instances, some police personnel were said to have joined their kinsmen in riots and protests. The picture painted by the retired senior police officer represents a clear example of today’s solution becoming tomorrow’s problem. That is the kind of situation that occurs when problems and solutions are not thoroughly analysed and options carefully weighed before deciding on a cause of action. This kind of pitfall needs to be avoided now that such options as the adoption of state police system are being considered.
According to Sun Tzu, “the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.” It is therefore imperative to critically think about all the possible implications of the solutions being proffered before settling for a particular course of action.
24. On 29 May 99, a civilian government was sworn in under the Constitution of the FRN 1999. The constitution like that of 1979 had similar provisions concerning the police. In Section 214, Subsection (1), it reaffirmed the status of the NPF as the only police force in Nigeria. It also placed ‘police’ in the ELL. Clearly, in contemporary post-colonial Nigeria, the national police system to the exclusion of any other police force, at whatever level or tier of government remains in place.
25. In recent times there have been increased calls for the amendment of the constitutional provision that forbids the creation of any other police force for Nigeria, or any other part of Nigeria. Some prominent Nigerians in support of this position have adduced reasons for the inadequacy of the current system. On 8 Feb 18, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo GCON, observed that attaining the UN prescribed ratio of 1 policeman to 400 persons would require tripling the current size of the NPF. He further asserted that it is unrealistic to police a country of Nigeria’s size centrally from Abuja. He, therefore, advocated for state police, and community policing methods. According to Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in view of many inadequately policed spaces in Nigeria due to the relatively low numerical strength of the NPF, the only option available for improved policing in Nigeria is state police. He also asserted that deploying police officers to states where they are strangers to the language, culture, and terrain contributes to the inefficiency of the NPF. He equally identified political interference in the operations of the NPF as a challenge to effective policing in Nigeria. However, some of the antagonists to state police do not agree with all of the positions of its proponents.
26. Olu Ogunsakin, a professor of police studies and lead consultant on security and policing to the Department for International Development, British Council, Nigeria, believes that a better solution lies in solving the challenges with the NPF, and not to hurriedly adopt a state police system. He believes that there are several factors responsible for the inefficiency of the NPF. He identified these to include inadequate training, poor remuneration, and welfare, poor equipment and infrastructure, political interference, inefficient recruitment processes, among others. He also agrees with other antagonists to the idea of state police that implementing a state police system in Nigeria portends certain negative implications for the country.
27. He identified some the implications as possible clashes between state police and NPF, use of state police forces as state militias by states that already have boundary disputes, for example, Anambra versus Kogi, and Ebonyi versus Cross River states, among others. Against the background of Nigeria’s multi-ethnic configuration and contemporary security challenges, Professor Olu Ogunsakin, agrees that other possible implications of state police include, abuse of state police by politicians, infiltration of state police forces by elements with secessionist inclination; indoctrination of state police officers by insurgent elements; and possible threats to the safety of non-indigenes in states operating state police forces. Despite these concerns and fears there a bill before the NASS proposing certain amendments to the constitution in order to allow for state police forces to be established by states if they so desire. A copy of the Senate bill for the establishment of state police is at Enclosure 1. The enclosure shows the complete contents of the bill.
28. A careful perusal of the bill reveals that while some attempts have been made to address some of the challenges with the NPF, not much is contained in the bills to address the possible negative implications of state police. For example, in the bill, one of the proposed amendments to Section 214 seeks to introduce a paragraph (b) to Subsection (1) which reads “The term of office of the Inspector General of Police shall be for a period of 5 years only or until he attains a retirement age as provided by law, whichever is earlier.” This proposed amendment apparently intends to address the challenge of interference by the executive by giving tenure to the office of the Inspector-General of Police. However, a proposed Subsection (5) reads, “State Police shall be organised and administered in accordance with such provisions as may be prescribed by a Law of the House of Assembly of a State subject to the framework and guidelines established by an Act of the National Assembly.” It should ordinarily be expected that the framework and guidelines be debated before amending the constitution. This is to ensure that genuine concerns and fears about state police would have been adequately addressed by the framework and guidelines. It will amount to putting the cart before the horse to amend the constitution and then start debating the framework and guidelines. It is necessary to give careful thought to the challenges and implications of the current police system and the proposed state police system, before arriving at a viable option for improved policing in Nigeria.
CHALLENGES OF NATIONAL POLICE SYSTEM AND IMPLICATIONS OF PROPOSED STATE POLICE SYSTEM
29. In view of the various positions held by the proponents, and antagonists of the state police system, certain challenges can be identified with the police system currently practiced in Nigeria. Similarly, there are certain potential negative implications of introducing state police in Nigeria as currently proposed by the bill before NASS. The identified challenges and implications of the 2 systems are presented subsequently.
IDENTIFIED CHALLENGES WITH NATIONAL POLICE SYSTEM
30. Some of the identified challenges with the current policing system in Nigeria include the inadequate numerical strength of the NPF, deployment of police officers to strange territories, political interference in the operations of the NPF, inadequate training, poor remuneration and welfare, poor equipment and infrastructure, and inefficient recruitment processes, among others. The identified challenges of inadequate numerical strength and deployment of police officers to strange terrains or territories will be discussed subsequently.
31. Inadequate Numerical Strength of the NPF. The challenge of the inadequate numerical strength of the NPF is real. The numerical strength of the NPF is currently placed at about 289,000. According to figures recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s population is about of 198,000,000. Dividing Nigeria’s population by the strength of police gives a ratio of 1 police personnel to 685 people. This falls short of the UN prescription of 1 police personnel to 400 people. However, the ratio of police officers to population is not the only factor that influences peace and security. In 2013 Singapore had a ratio of 1 police officer to 616 people and scored 16 out of 159 countries in world global peace index. In that same year, Nigeria ranked 148. The numerical strength of the NPF in 2013 was about 311, 000 while Nigeria’s population was 179.8 million. This leaves Nigeria with a ratio of 1 police to 572 persons, against Singapore’s ratio of 1 police officer to 616 persons, in 2013. This clearly shows that there is more to peace and security than the mere numerical strength of police forces. Thus in line with one of the principles of systems thinking, it would be naive to hold unto inadequate numerical strength of the NPF as being responsible for the rate of insecurity. There are other factors that fuel insecurity in Nigeria; many of those factors are outside the domain of the NPF. Indeed more important than numerical strength is the capacity of the average NPF officer to execute his or her duties efficiently and professionally. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that efficient and effective processes, facilities and resources for the recruitment, training, and development of NPF personnel are put in place.
32. Deployment of Police Personnel to Strange Territories. The challenge of the deployment of police personnel to strange territories is one that needs to be addressed. Police personnel having to serve in states where they are strangers to the terrains, culture, language, and other material nuances could sometimes impact negatively on efficiency and outcomes. This is particularly applicable to intelligence gathering, investigation, as well as community policing initiatives. However, there are ways of alleviating this challenge. This will be addressed by the strategy proposed in this paper.
POSSIBLE NEGATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF STATE POLICE SYSTEM
33. Possible negative implications of introducing state police as currently proposed to the NASS include, misuse of police by politicians, possible clashes between state police and NPF, use of state police forces as state militias by some states, infiltration of state police forces by elements with secessionist inclination, indoctrination or radicalization of state police officers by insurgent elements, and possible threats to the safety of indigenes in states operating state police forces. The radicalization of state police officers and possible threats to the safety of non-indigenes will be discussed subsequently.
34. The radicalization of State Police Officers. The possible implication of radicalization of state police officers is of major concern. Nigeria’s multi-ethnic configuration and religious differences are some of the factors that influence or trigger violent conflicts. Also at present, some of the major contemporary security challenges in Nigeria are fuelled by religious or ethnic pseudo-nationalistic sentiments. Therefore, police formations across the nation need to be staffed in such a manner as to not only protect, but also assure, and inspire confidence in the people regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliations. A scenario in which terrorist or secessionist elements are able to win the hearts and minds of a good number of the personnel of a state police through clandestine broadcast media or other means is quite possible. If such a scenario plays out in reality, the consequences may be catastrophic. As it is the bill before the NASS has not addressed this challenge. It is, therefore, necessary to tread softly with the proposed state police system. This paper proffers a strategy that will address this challenge while not foreclosing some of the merits of state police system.
35. Possible Threats to Safety of Non-Indigenes. The possibility of threats to non-indigenes in a state that operates a state police is a major negative implication of state police as currently proposed to the NASS. The possibility of state police officers getting involved emotionally in matters within their states of origin is real. Non-indigenes whether resident, visiting or travelling through a state could become endangered by activities of hoodlums or militant youth at times of social, political, ethnic, or religious tensions, at the risk of running to a biased police for succour. This has been evidenced by occurrences that led to the discontinuation of the back–to-state policy that was introduced during the regime of General IB Babangida. In this paper, a proposal is made for a hybrid of the contending national police and state police systems towards improved policing in Nigeria.
A CONVERGENCE OF NATIONAL POLICE AND STATE POLICE SYSTEMS AS A STRATEGY FOR IMPROVED POLICING IN NIGERIA
36. In view of the challenges and implications associated with the contending police systems, there is a need to develop an effective strategy. A convergence of national police and state police systems is proposed as an overarching strategy. The strategy integrates some characteristics and advantages of the 2 contending police systems in order to address certain inherent challenges and negative implications in order to achieve improved policing.
37. Towards actualizing the desired end state of improved policing, the strategy will aim at achieving some specific ends. These ends include alleviation of challenges associated with the inadequate numerical strength of the NPF, and deployment of police personnel to strange territories. Other ends are, lessening the possibility of radicalizing police personnel; as well as reducing the possibility of threats to the safety of non-indigenes.
38. The ways through which the stated ends will be achieved are rooted in existing provisions of the Police Act, Chapter P19 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. This affirms one of the principles of systems thinking, which suggests that systems usually have challenges and solutions embedded in them. The relevant provisions of the Police Act are contained in Sections 18 to 22 of the Act, which deal with employment of supernumerary police officers. The strategy is therefore simply a proposal for an adaptation and robust utilization of the already existing legal framework for the employment of supernumerary police officers (SPYS).
39. A SPY refers to a police officer employed pursuant to the provisions of sections 18 to 22 of the Police Act. The major difference between a SPY and a regular police officer is that while a regular police officer may be transferred from one part of the country to another, a SPY can only serve in the district, area command, or division in which he or she is employed to serve. This makes it a viable option for responding to the needs sought to be addressed through the state police system. This is because the officers so employed will remain within the localities without being transferred out; they will also understand the terrain, language, culture and other relevant nuances.
40. The Act envisages that private individuals and government bodies can take advantage of the provisions. Indeed, many private companies have been utilizing those provisions of the Act. A copy of the contents of Sections 18 to 22 of the Police Act is at Enclosure 2. The enclosure contains details of the provisions of the sections of the Act. The sections provide extensively for matters relating to appointment, duties, powers, responsibilities, and immunities of SPYs. Others are the procedure for requesting the services of SPYs, approving authority, AORs, limits of duties, terms, and conditions of service, discipline, payment for services, and kitting, among others. The specific ways and actions that could be undertaken towards adapting and utilizing the provisions of Sections 18 to 22 of the Police Act are discussed subsequently.
WAYS AND ACTIONS FOR THE ADAPTATION AND ROBUST UTILIZATION OF SECTIONS 18 TO 22 OF THE POLICE ACT
41. Within the context of the focus of this paper, there are 2 ways in which the provisions of sections 18 to 22 of the Police Act can be utilized to achieve the desired ends. The first will require minor amendments to the Police Act as well as the constitution. This is in order to achieve an enduring, seamless and relatively efficient system. It is, therefore, a relatively tough approach. The second is an easier way, requiring no amendment but a certain level of understanding among the principal stakeholders. The principal stakeholders would be the President, State Governors, the Police Service Commission, and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP). For want of space, and in consonance with another principle of systems thinking which posits that easy ways out of problems usually lead back into the problems; the first and difficult approach is preferred. The courses of action required for that approach include a minor constitutional amendment, minor amendments to the Police Act, and construction of training institutions. These will be discussed forthwith.
42. Minor Constitutional Amendment. A minor constitutional amendment is required in order to establish a State Police Council (SPC) for each of the 36 states in Nigeria. The amendment will provide for the establishment of SPC, as well as roles and membership of the body. In stating the roles and membership of the SPC, the constitution could simply state, “The roles and membership of the SPC shall be as stipulated in the Police Act.” This is to allow for flexibility, given that it is easier to amend the Act than the Constitution. Thus if there is any need in future to expand or reduce the roles or membership, it could be done without recourse to the rigors of a constitutional amendment. The roles and membership of the SPC as they relate to recruitment and deployment of the SPYs will then be included in the Police Act through an amendment. The membership of the SPC will be in such a way as to ensure that the interests of all relevant sensibilities and interests are protected. For example, membership of the SPC could include the CP in charge of the state police command, one representative from each of the other 5 geopolitical zones distinct from the zone to which the recruiting state belongs; one representative to be nominated by each of the umbrella Christian and Muslim associations in the recruiting state. The recommended roles and membership of the SPC are in Annex B.
43. Minor Amendments to the Police Act. Minor amendments to the Police Act will make special provisions for requests for recruitment of SPYs by state governments. The amendments will specify that: the SPC will determine the need for, and number of SPYs required; the approving authority shall be the IGP; on receiving an application duly made by the state government on the recommendation of the SPC the IGP shall approve the application; 35 per cent of every recruitment made at every point in time shall be distributed among the indigenes of the rest of the 35 states resident in the recruiting state, on the basis of 1 per cent for each state; where there is no person available to fill the quota of any state, such quota may be filled by any other qualified person from any other state from the same geo-political zone; the Federal Government shall bear 35 per cent the cost of remuneration of the SPYs; the recruiting state shall bear 65 per cent of the cost of the remuneration of the SPYs; the SPYs shall be under the overarching operational control of the CP in charge of the state police command. It should be noted that the amendments suggested to be made in the constitution can also be made in the Police Act, without necessarily amending the constitution. The need for the constitutional amendment is to allow for an enduring system and to address the concerns of agitators of state police.
44. Construction of Training Institutions. There will be a need to construct training institutions in order to ensure adequate training and development of not just the SPYs but also other police officers in the various states. To this end, it is suggested that 6 world class training institutions be constructed, on the basis of 1 in each of the 6 geo-political zones. This will ensure that recruitments and trainings are conducted when required. Some of the existing police training institutions in the various geo-political zones can be upgraded for this purpose. The fund for constructing or reconstructing the training institutions can be raised through a tripartite arrangement as follows; the Federal Government will contribute 50 per cent; state governments will contribute 30 per cent; while the organized private sector contributes 20 per cent as part of their corporate social responsibility. The private sector contribution could be mobilized through a special project-specific foundation to be headed by any competent Nigerian philanthropist. A special task force, Police Training Institutions Construction Task Force, could be constituted and tasked to oversee the construction of the 6 training institutions. The Task Force could be membered by representatives of the Ministry of Interior, State Governments, NPF, and the organized private sector. The entire plan could be achieved within 5 years.
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN AND ACTIVITY TIMELINES
45. The strategy is expected to be implemented in 3 phases, short, medium and long terms. The short-term plan will be in 2 parts. The first part should commence before the end of 2018 in view of the fact that the bill for state police is receiving attention at NASS. The first part of the short-term phase will involve lobbying relevant stakeholders to buy into the strategy and jettison the idea of state police.
46. The second part of the short-term plan involves preparation of draft bills and sponsoring of the bills at the NASS. This should commence as soon as the NASS reconvenes after the February 2019 General Elections. The goal should be to have the bill passed before the end of December 2019.
47. The long-term plan is about the design, fundraising, and construction of 6 world class training institutions one in each of the 6 geopolitical zones. curriculum of the training institutions will commence before the end of June 2019. The design and curriculum can also be used as tools for lobbying.
48. The safety of lives and property is of paramount importance to human beings. In their efforts to optimize their security different kinds of police systems are established, by nation states and other levels of human communities. Currently, Nigeria operates a centralized or national police system as represented by the NPF to the exclusion of any other police force.
In response to very serious contemporary security challenges, there are calls for the amendment of Nigeria’s constitution to allow for state governments to establish state police forces. A bill to that effect is currently before the NASS.
49. Some inherent challenges and negative implications have been identified with the current police system and the proposed state police system as presented before the NASS. In view of these challenges and implications an overarching strategy, incorporating the pros of both the current police system and the state police system is proposed.
50. The strategy is hinged on the already existing legal framework of the Police Act, which makes it easier to be adapted and robustly utilized. The strategy is proposed to be implemented within a time frame of 5 years. It is hoped that the strategy if implemented will contribute immensely towards the achievement of improved policing in Nigeria.
51. It is recommended that:
a. The IGP should set up a committee to prepare draft amendment bills for the relevant parts of the Constitution and Police Act by First Quarter 2019.
b. The NPF management team should embark on strategic consultations with all stakeholders by Second Quarter 2019.
c. The IGP should liaise with the Attorney-General of the Federation to sponsor the bills for the amendments to the relevant parts of the Constitution and Police Act by Third Quarter 2019.
d. The Police Training Institutions Construction Task Force should construct 6 world class training institutions for the NPF by First Quarter 2023.
Sep 18 Participant
A. Contents of the complete provisions of section 98 of the 1960 constitution of the Federation of Nigeria.
B. The recommended roles and membership of the SPC.
1. The contents of the relevant portions of the 1963 constitution.
2. A copy of the Senate bill for the establishment of state police.
3. Contents of the exclusive legislative list of the Constitution of the FRN, 1979.
4. A copy of the contents of Sections 18 to 22 of the Police Act.
Lionel Gilles MA, Sun Tzu, On the Art of War Allandale Online Publishing, Leicester England, 2000
Ebitu ET, Ph.D., “The Impact of Colonialism on the Development of Marketing in Nigeria: A Dyadic Analysis”, British Journal of Marketing Studies, Vol.4, No.2 (2016)
Onadeko T, “Yoruba Traditional Adjudicatory Systems”, African Study Monographs, Vol. 29, No.1 (2008).
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended)
Section 199, (1-4), the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
Police Act, Chapter P19 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Adeyemo I, “Nigeria’s Population now 198 million – NPC”, Premium Times, 12 Apr 18, accessed 20 Sep 18
Disrupt Design, “11 key principles of systems thinking” 8 Sep 17 accessed 29 Sep 18
Fontaine P, “Four Cops per Every 60,000 in Reykjavik Area”, The Reykjavik Grapevine, 7 Nov 16, accessed 29 Sep 18
Hyland S, “Full-Time Employees in Law Enforcement Agencies, 1997-2016”, NCJ 251762, 28 Aug 18, accessed 20 Sep 18.
Institute for Economics and Peace, “Global Peace Index 2016”, accessed 29 Sep 18.
Statistics South Africa “Migrants Flock to Gauteng”, 20 Jul 18, accessed 19 Sep 18.
South African Police Service “about us” accessed 4 Jul 18.
United States Embassy in Nigeria, “Nigeria Fact Sheet”, Jan 12 https://photos.state.gov/libraries/nigeria/487468/pdfs/Nigeria%20overview%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf accessed 25 Sep 18.
United States Census Bureau “The United States Population on July 4, 2018”, accessed 14 Sep 18.
Ekweremadu I, “Policing and National Security in Nigeria: The Choices before Us” Annual lecture delivered at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, 1 Mar 13.
Osinbajo Y, “Speech delivered at the 2018 National Security Summit organized by the National Assembly” on 8 Feb 18.
Aghanya I, retired commissioner of police, interviewed on “State Police and Reasons for Reversal of NPF Back to State Policy”, 28 Sep 18
Ekweremadu I, Deputy Senate President, interviewed on “Reasons for State Police”, 18 Sep 18.
Mohammed S, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, interviewed on “Reasons for Reversal of NPF Back to State Police”, 29 Sep 18.
Ogunsakin O, Professor of Police Studies, interviewed on “State Police as an Option for Improved Policing in Nigeria”, 29 Sep 18.
Ojukwu ES, retired commissioner of police, interviewed on “NPF Back to State Policy” 29 Sep 18.