By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
Civil Society group, the Rule of Law and Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), has disclosed that despite the provisions of the Police Act to protect human rights, reports of police brutality have not reduced in Nigeria.
RULAAC said the height of Police brutality resulted in protests against such brutality in the 2020 #EndSARS uprising pointing out that is why it is neccesary for both the Police Act 2020 and Police Trust Fund Act 2019 to be understood for proper implementation.
Speaking at the public presentation, validation of the concise summaries of the Police Act and the Police Trust Fund Act in Abuja, on Wednesday in Abuja, Executive Director of RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, explained that the new Police Act has the objective of providing for a police force that is more responsive to the needs of the public and has its operations entrenched in the values of fairness, justice and partnering with the communities it serves and also to uphold the fundamental rights of citizens.
His words, “Our further advocacy is for the effective implementation of the Act, to achieve its intended purpose of ensuring cooperation and partnership between the police and host communities in maintaining peace, protecting life and property.
“Of course we know that there are gaps and we will continue to work hard to improve on the law through both effective implementation of what we have and further amendment to improve the law.
“Despite the laudable provisions of the Act to promote, protect and preserve human rights, reports of police brutality have not reduced in Nigeria, with gory cases being unveiled crystallising in the 2020 #EndSARS uprising.
“Significantly, the EndSARS protest erupted after the signing into law of the Police Act.
“The Police Trust Fund Act was signed into law by President Buhari in 2019 to address the perennial underfunding of the Police by providing an additional window for police funding.
“The PTF Act has a 6-year lifespan and has done 3 years already- which is half way. Its life span will expire in the next 3 years unless renewed by the NASS.
“The controversies surrounding the management of the funds of the trust fund vindicate civil society’s early intervention to monitor the implementation of the Police Trust Fund Act to ensure transparency and accountability and to achieve the purpose of setting up the Trust Fund.
“To achieve effective implementation of these two important laws, we believe that it is important to make them accessible in concise, simple and reader friendly versions.
“This will not only enhance access but also promote awareness among both police officers and the general public who are the beneficiaries of both laws. The ultimate goal is to ensure public safety and security.
“So we engaged two experts to simplify the language and reduce the two laws into simple, reader friendly and handy concise summaries to achieve the objective of promoting access and awareness of the provisions of the laws.”
At a sensitization interaction on the NPF Act, a representative of the Inspector General of Police, DCP Simon Law (SAN) advised Civil Society organization’s to always carry the Nigerian Police Force and the Police Service Commission along on matters bothering on emplacing a better performing Nigerian Police force for the nation