Recommends removal of Immunity Clause, scrapping of Police Affairs Ministry
By HENRY UMORU & JOSEPH ERUNKE
IF one of the recommendations of the Committee on National Security sails through, President Good luck Jonathan will be stripped of powers to appoint the Inspector- General of Police, IGP.
The Committee also recommended that because of its security implications, the absolute immunity presently enjoyed by some elected chief executives and their deputies be removed, just as it called for a full security orientation and briefings to be put together by the proposed Ministry of Homeland Security(Mo HS) for governors before they resume to improve and increase their effectiveness and capacity.
According to the report of the committee headed by former Inspector- General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Garbo Jimeta, instead of the President appointing the Inspector- General of Police, Police Council should carry out the function on the advice of the Police Service Commission.
The Committee said that the inspector General of Police should be made accountable to the Police Council for the effectiveness and efficiency of the Force, just as it stressed that the Police Trust Fund Bill should be passed into law without delay, adding that the entire salary structure of the police should be reviewed upwards.
In the report which Vanguard obtained yesterday, the 24- member committee also recommended the scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs, and in its place creation of the ministry of Homeland Security(Mo HS) to coordinate National Guard; NP, Civil Defense Corps and Nigerian Prisons Service.
The Committee which has Maj. General Geoffrey Rejig, Chief Albert Horsefly; General Zamani Lekwot; Maj. General Alex Mshelbwala; Erelu Olusola Obada; General Paul Omu; General Jerry Useni; Gani Adams; Col. Tony Nyiam; General Idada- Ikponmwen and General Alani Akinrinade among others as members, recommended that the “ Police Council should remain the body responsible for Force policy, finances, organisation and standards.
“It should play a far greater role in shaping the aims and objectives of the service. It should be responsible for the appointment of the Inspector- General of Police on the advice of the Police Service Commission.”
Other recommendations include:
*Creation of Nigerian National Guard Corp (NNG) to handle internal conflicts and border control; and establish within it a Rapid Response Force to deal with emergencies at all levels- including communities and local government levels.
* Establishment of VIP protection Department in the Ministry of Homeland Security/ Presidency.
* Creation of Security and Intelligence Services Inspectorate and Disciplinary Service Commission, SISIDSC.
* Operationalising the concept of ‘ Community Policing’ a- la the Japanese model; using the Civil Defence Corp to be deployed nationwide up to the community level.
The committee also recommended that the present centralised Police structure should remain, but be reformed to make it more effective and representative of the Federal character of the country, adding, “Police Service Commission should continue to be responsible for appointment, promotion and discipline of all officers below the IGP, except the operational control of the Force which is vested in the IGP. It should be independent enough to guard against nepotism in recruitment, discipline and promotion and the dominance of the service by any single or few ethnic groups.”
The committee recommended that the Nigerian Prisons Service be included in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to enable it perform it’s legitimate functions.
According to the committee, for the Federal Road Safety Commission to be effective, a Board of Governors should be established for the commission as that would enhance the confidence and operational efficiency of the staff and viability of the commission.
It also urged the Military to stop or minimise premature retirement of senior officers except on proven disciplinary grounds, ill health or disability.