PDP Governors Declare Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act Illegal

(FILE) Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has declared the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 illegal.

The Forum called for a repeal of sections of the Police Act recently accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, citing constitutional breaches.

This was contained in a communique issued by its Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal after a Zoom meeting.

A copy of the communique was made available to reporters in Abuja, on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs Nigeria Police Bill 2020 Into Law

The Forum “implored Mr. President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purports to authorize the President to deduct 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, as it is patently unconstitutional,” it read.

“The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the Federal, States, and Local Governments ONLY. More creative funding options should be explored.”

SEE FULL COMMUNIQUE HERE:

COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM ZOOM MEETING HELD ON 30TH SEPTEMBER, 2020.

The PDP Governors’ Forum held a Zoom Meeting on 30th September 2020 and commented on the following issues of national importance:

  1. The meeting, which was chaired by Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR, reviewed the Edo Governorship elections and the Forum formally congratulated the winner, Gov. Godwin Obaseki on the electoral triumph. The Forum also noted with delight the unity of purpose displayed by the PDP National and Edo State leaders of our party that helped to achieve the historic victory. Of utmost importance also was the role played by the PDP Governors’ Forum, and especially the PDP Campaign Council.
  2. The Forum urged the INEC and Security Agencies to play a neutral role in Ondo Gubernatorial elections as they did in Edo State, in order to continue to deepen Nigeria’s democracy and democratic practices.

 

iii.            The meeting received briefings from the Chairman of PDP Committee on the Review of the 2019 elections, His Excellency, Governor Bala Mohammad, CON and urged them to continue with their good work and nationwide consultations, to reposition PDP to win the 2023 Presidential Elections.

  1. The meeting noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr. President, Commander in Chief. While acknowledging the many important innovations in the new law, the Forum emphasised the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr President as Chairman and 36 state Governors as members, fully operational and the clearing house on all issues bordering on the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

 

  1. The Forum further observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States. Whereas S.12(2) gives the responsibility to the Police Service Commission, S. 12(4) gives either the Police Service Commission or Inspector-General of Police the same responsibility. This is even more regrettable as the Constitution gives this responsibility to the Police Service Commission (S. 215)(1)(b). We advise that the constitutional provision be upheld.

 

  1. Furthermore, the Forum canvassed for appropriate consultations with the Governors of various States on the deployment of Police Commissioners to the States since the Police is a common institution that executes the laws of both the Federal and State governments.

vii.          The Forum implored Mr. President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purports to authorise the President to deduct 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, as it is patently unconstitutional. The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the Federal, States and Local Governments ONLY. More creative funding options should be explored.

viii.         The Forum noted the controversy surrounding the Water Resources Bill, 2020 and noted the stepping down of the Bill in the House of Representatives. It urged for further consultations and public engagement in the processing of the Bill. The Forum referred the Bill to the bodies of Attorney Generals of PDP State governments for advice.

  1. Finally, the Forum congratulated Nigeria @ 60 and enjoined the government and the people of Nigeria to redouble efforts on national unity, national cohesion, economic, social and political integration and progress in the years ahead.

The meeting was attended by the following PDP Governors:

Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,CFR-   Sokoto State                      –              Chairman

Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu                                          –              Abia State                           –              Vice-Chairman

Mr. Udom Emmanuel                                    –              Akwa Ibom State             –              Member

Senator Bala Muhammad, CON                 –              Bauchi State                       –              Member

Sen. Douye Diri                                                                 –              Bayelsa State     –              Member

Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa                                            –              Delta State                          –              Member

Engr. Dave Umahi                                            –              Ebonyi State                       –              Member

Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi                                  –              Enugu State                        –              Member

Nyesom Wike, CON                                        –              Rivers State                        –              Member

Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde                –              Oyo State                            –              Member

Dr. Bello Muhammad Matawalle               –              Zamfara State    –              Member

 

Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR

Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum

 

1st October, 2020

Bill Seeking Extension Of IGP’s Tenure Scales Second Reading In Senate

Lawmakers during plenary at the Senate chamber in Abuja February 12, 2020. Photo: [email protected]

 

 

A bill to amend the Police Act 2004 which prescribes a five-year tenure for the Inspector General of Police has passed through the second reading in the Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Halliru Jika, enjoyed the support of some senators when it was presented during Thursday’s plenary.

According to Senator Jika, the amendment is to allow more time for the police boss to effect meaningful changes in the police and improve efficiency in the force.

The bill which repeals the Police Act 2004 and enacts the Police Act 2019, also provides for the establishment of Community Police Forums and Boards by the Commissioner of Police of each state, which is expected to be made up of representatives of the police and the local community.

In his contribution, Senator James Manager highlighted the importance of the bill, saying it has captured everything about community policing.

“It must be very holistic and everything we have been talking about is all in this bill.

“Whatever the military can do, the police force can certainly do. What is lacking is the necessary funding and deployment of equipment,” the lawmaker said.

Senator Bala Na’allah, on his part, is hopeful that the bill would work and if it works, the country will benefit from the structure.

He also urged the Senate to assist the nation by fast-tracking the passage of the bill and ensure it was passed into law.

After the lawmakers deliberated on the bill, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred it to the Committee on Police Affairs.

The committee was asked to report back to the Senate within four weeks.

Rivers Raid: Police May Be Justified by Constitution – Legal Practitioner

A Legal Practitioner, Ikechukwu Ikeji, says the Police raid on the Save Rivers Movement rally in Port-Harcourt on Sunday, January 12, may be justifiable under the Nigerian Constitution.

He threw his weight behind the point of view that everybody’s right of association is guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and those rights of association “include the right to hold demonstrations and sundry kinds of rallies.”

He, however, noted that Section 45 of the same constitution goes further to derogate from that right by saying that “nothing in the constitution or in some of the sections mentioned, including the right to freedom of association shall render invalid any law that is made by the National Assembly, that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society for the interest of public safety.”

He explained that this implied that a law could be made by the National Assembly in any form to curtail some of those rights so as to ensure public safety.

He went further to state that the Police Act is such law that the National Assembly had made which curtails the citizens’ rights of association for the sake of ensuring public safety, law and order. This according to him, empowers the Police to step in if it sees “that a particular situation may be likely to result in breakdown of law and order.”

Ikeji was asked to clarify the key elements that the Police would need to identify for it to conclude that a situation may result in breakdown of law and order, he referred to antecedents as the key elements that the Police would need to consider. These include the volatility of the polity and the environment, the parties involved, and the prevailing security situation.

Ikechukwu made this assertion on Channels Television’s daily breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’.

He insisted that it would be left for the court to decide who was right or wrong in the Rivers State crisis.

Watch this video for more of Ikechukwu Ikeji’s arguments.

Rivers State Commissioner of Police Should Be Sued – Legal Practitioner

A Legal Practitioner, Emeka Onohwakpor, has advised members of the Save Rivers Movement who had their rally disorganised following a police raid, to sue the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, for ordering the attack.

According to him, the Police Force as well as the Rivers State Commissioner of Police himself can be sued for disrupting the Save Rivers Movement Rally, an act which analysts said was ‘unconstitutional.’

Mr Mbu had told Channels Television that the organisers of the rally failed to obtain permission from him before going ahead with their rally which he claimed was political.

However, Onohwakpor said that Mr Mbu’s actions were against the law and “If it’s outside his purview as a Police man, sue him in his name.” The Police Commissioner’s reason for ordering the raid was wrong and he was acting beyond his purview. “I watched the Commissioner of Police arrogating to himself powers he doesn’t have.”

He further stated that the “Constitution as well as the Police Act did not envisage that powers to grant permission to persons interested in conducting rallies would be granted to the Police” because there are forms for different activities involving the Police including application for bail or exhibits but “the Police has no form for permission for rally.”

“It’s not something that was envisaged to be part of their jobs,” he added.

Speaking further on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’, he disclosed that there are several cases in court against the Force, as well as the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and that judgment had been pronounced on some of the cases.

The disruption of the rally was an ‘unnecessary reaction from the Police because people have a right to gather and as long as they have not started constituting themselves in a breach of public peace, they should not have been attacked.”

He added that the action of the Rivers State Police Command, led by Joseph Mbu, whose integrity has been questioned by critics and analysts, attempted to label the organisers and the rally a ‘threat’ even though the right to assemble is an ‘overflogged fact’.

He maintained that the participants of the rally should not have been attacked with the use of teargas and rubber bullets but should have been advised to disperse on the condition that the rally had become volatile.

According to Mr Onohwakpor, the only reasonable solution to the problem is the court, because “If you don’t take these people to court, they will use self-help and you cannot even match them. Your last bet is to go to court.”

He also wondered why the affected individuals are yet to proceed on a legal battle. “Why the people of Rivers State are afraid of going to court, I don’t know,” he said.