Nigeria

Wahab Shittu: State police necessary but requires constitution amendment

Law teacher Mr Wahab Shittu has backed the proposal for state and local government police but said a constitutional amendment is needed.

He faulted the present arrangement whereby the police is centralised.

Shittu said: “State police in the context of the peculiarities of Nigerian federation is a desideratum.

“This is because all offences are local and easier to police by elements familiar with the terrain.

“The present arrangements whereby our policing is centralised may have contributed to the upsurge in the rate of criminality in our society.”

Shittu said the proposal for state police is in response to popular clamour and designed to come to terms with realities.

He urged the government to take steps towards an amendment of the constitution.

“Governors as chief security officers of states have no control of police in states under their control.

“Reference to Governors as chief security officers in the context of our federation as presently constituted is indeed a mockery.

Police are under the control of IGP at the centre and this means our federation is in the reverse gear and a betrayal of the autonomy of states.

“However there is no way we can have state police under the present constitutional arrangement without an amendment of the constitution.

“If government accepts the recommendations on state police, issues a white paper on same, government has to follow the process through by introducing an Executive bill embodying the proposals to amend our constitution.

“Can this be done? Yes. Is it desirable? Yes. lf achieved, it will go a long way in reducing the rate of criminality in our society,” Shittu said.

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