Constitution lawyer and rights activist, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has said that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot unilaterally set up state and local government police, based on the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission as it is not a court of law.
Ozekhome submitted that since the Commission is not a competent court of law, as enshrined in and recognised by section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution,as amended, “Mr. President cannot unilaterally,whimsically,capriciously and arbitrarily set up state and local government police without the necessary constitutional amendments to that effect, under section 9 (1) of the same 1999 Constitution.”
The rights crusader further added that “this section requires two-third majority approval of the bicameral National Assembly, made up of 109 Senators, 360 House of Representatives members and also, two-thirds majority approval by the 36 Houses of Assembly and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Sections 214 and 215 of the same constitution establishes the Nigeria Police Force, giving it powers and duties and its major operatives, such as the Inspector General of Police and state Commissioners of Police. Surely, our non-performing behemoth, unwieldy and elephantine organisation needs to be broken up into state and local government police forces, as we have it in more advanced countries of the world. “In the United States of America, for example, aside the federal police institutions of the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, she also has state and county council (local government in Nigeria) police forces.
“Even cities, universities and colleges have their own police forces; for example, the New York Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, etc.The result is great synergy of purpose and inter-agency cooperation in detecting, preventing, fighting and prosecuting crimes.
My take is this: whilst commending the president for even mentioning the establishment of state and local government police at all (contrary to his earlier stiff stance against its recommendation by the 2014 National Conference wherein I relentlessly crusaded for it), he should instruct government officials to immediately draft and send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly; for amendment of sections 8,214 and 215 of the constitution.”