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House, Senate to Harmonize Police Act Repeal Bill

By Udora Orizu

The House of Representatives and Senate will Tuesday (today) harmonize the Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Act, Cap. P19, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enact Nigeria Police Act, 2020, to provide for the framework for the Police Force and ensure cooperation and partnership between the Police and host communities in maintaining peace, protecting lives and properties, and related matters.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who made the announcement at the resumption of plenary, said the harmonization would be done by joint House and Senate Committee on Police Affairs.

Back in June, the House of Representatives passed for third reading the Bill which seeks to repeal the Police Act 2004 and enact Nigeria Police Act, 2020 and the Senate also passed similar Bill hence the need to harmonize the new legislation.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs, Hon. Bello Kumo, had at the presentation of a report on the Bill, said the committee would rectify issues in the 2004 Police Act to ensure efficiency, transparency, and adherence to human rights laws as well as other critical issues noted in the operations of the Nigeria Police.

The legislative brief of the Bill states that: “Provide for a police force that is more responsive to the needs of the public and has entrenched in its operations the values of fairness, justice and equity; repositioning the police force to uphold and safeguard the fundamental rights of every person in Nigeria in its operations.

”Also, to bring about a positive change in the public perception of the Force by ensuring that its functions are performed in a manner sensitive to the needs and well-being of the public, empower the police force to effectively prevent crimes without threatening the liberty and privacy of persons in Nigeria.

”Strengthen the Police Force in the performance of its functions, including safety and security of all persons, communities and property in Nigeria.

“Ensure that the police perform its functions by creating the enabling environment to foster cooperation and partnership between it and the communities it serves to effectively prevent, reduce or eradicate crimes.

”Develop professionalism in the Force by providing relevant training in all police formations in Nigeria for enhanced performance; and respect for rights of victims of crime and an understanding of their needs among others.”

Meanwhile, the chairmen and deputy chairmen of the House standing Committees are to meet with the House Leadership next Tuesday at 7 pm.