The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Maikyau has deplored the working conditions of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the NBA, Habeeb Lawal, Maikyau made this known when he paid a courtesy call on the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, at the Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja.
Describing the working condition of police officers as pitiable, the NBA President noted, “Without deliberate and appropriate investment in improving the welfare of officers and men of the NPF, and equally equipping the NPF to function effectively and efficiently, it will be hypocritical if not fraudulent, to expect any meaningful result from the police in its constitutional duty of protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians”
Maikyau also expressed the readiness of the NBA to partner with the NPF to advocate for and pursue better working conditions for members of the Force.
The NBA President commended the IGP for his swift intervention with respect to the incident which led to the demise of a member of the NBA, Omobolanle Raheem, who was shot by a police officer on December 25, 2022.
He described Omobolanle’s killing as one killing by law enforcement officers too many and stated that Nigerians are resolved to ensuring that the trend must come to an end.
In the same vein, Maikyau commiserated with the Police over the loss of police officers and men, who have paid the supreme price in the discharge of their constitutional duties.
He suggested that some of the challenges of the force and the friction between the Bar and the Police including but not limited to the issue of harassment of lawyers would have been minimized, had the lawyers in Force been deployed to man key positions, bringing to bear their legal knowledge on their assignments.
He, therefore, appealed to the IGP to approve and direct the appropriate promotion and proper placement of lawyers in the Force as it is the case with other professionals like Medical Doctors, Engineers, Accountants and other specialists designations like Pilots.
In his response, the IGP thanked the NBA President for the visit and assured the NBA that the NPF would welcome the partnership with the NBA. He noted that there has been improved welfare for police officers in the last two years.
The IGP explained the ongoing reform in the Police Force including the building of befitting police stations and the upgrading of the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State to a degree awarding institution, the products of which would improve the quality of officers recruited into the Nigeria Police Force.
The NBA President was accompanied by the NBA 1st Vice President, Mrs. Linda Rose Bala, the 2nd Vice President, Chukwuemeka Clement and the National Publicity Secretary, Habeeb Lawal.