The inspector of police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has opposed plans by the senate to pass a bill subjecting appointment of inspectors general of police by the President to senate confirmation.
Idris stated his stand on the matter during a public hearing by the senate on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Act, 2004 and enact the Police Act, 2018.
He asked the lawmakers to stay off the appointment of police chiefs in the country.
The constitution currently requires the president to appoint an IGP subject to the senate’s approval.
But the reform bill is seeking to open the window for other police officers interested in the position to apply.
The section 3 states: “Interested persons (for the office of the IGP) shall make an open and formal application to the police council; the Nigerian police council shall nominate three applicants from among the pool of applicants using the stipulated criteria for competences and qualification; the president shall appoint the inspector-general of police from the recommended applicants subject to the confirmation of the Senate.”
Addressing the lawmakers, Idris said such confirmation will “make the police less proficient.”
“The confirmation and removal of the inspector general by the senate is not necessary. It will politicise the police force. It should be expunged from the bill and the tenure of the I-G of five years should be maintained.
“The appointment of the inspector general in consultation with police service commission (PSC) is appropriate. However, there should not be any confirmation by the senate. This is the desire and position of the police force.
“There should also not be one deputy inspector general. There should be seven as we have already. Having one will put too much pressure on the inspector general instead of reducing the workload,” he said.
In his presentation, the chairman of PSC, Mr. Musiliu Smith, said plans to remove “Force” from the Nigeria Police Force should be done in accordance with provisions of the Constitution.
“I have few observations. One is the change of name from Nigeria Police Force to Nigeria Police. If the name has to be changed, it has to be done constitutionally.
“We met a police when all the training schools were working. We met a police where you could not be promoted without writing an examination.
“We met a police where every policeman lived in the barracks.
“Today, some policemen are given houses by criminals and drug bandits. That needs to change and then we should think of additional funding source for the police.
“In Lagos State, a governor came into office. He did not like what he met on ground. He invited some of us to change what was on ground.
“That was what gave birth to Lagos State Police Trust Fund. We cannot tackle insecurity without this. Let us think of that.
“The yearly budget ritual cannot help us. It will not take us anywhere. If we want a highly motivated police force, we should adequately fund it,” he said.
In his remarks, the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the deputy majority leader, Mr. Bala Ibn Na’Allah said the bill was meant to establish a cordial relationship between the police and the people.