Columns

April 23, 2024

Pushed to the wall over state police (2), by Eric Teniola 

Who else but Professor Benjamin Nwabueze (2), by Eric Teniola

From last week, continues the relevant quotes from the 1963 Constitution which made the establishment of the Nigeria Police possible, while abrogating regional police. Reference: Section 105

(7) Nothing in this section shall prevent the legislature of a Region from making provision for the maintenance by any native authority or local government authority established for a province or any part of a provision of a police force for employment within that province. 

In this subsection “province” means any area that was a province on the thirtieth day of September, 1954. 

Section 109 states that: (1) There shall be a Police Service Commission for the Federation, which shall consist of a chairman and not less than two nor more than four other members. (2) The members of the Police Service Commission of the Federation shall be appointed by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister. (3) A person shall not be qualified to hold office as a member of the Police Service Commission of the Federation, if he is a member of either House of Parliament, a member of a legislative house of a Region, a Minister of the Government of the Federation, a Minister of the Government of a Region or a member of the public service of the Federation or the public service of a Region: Provided that a judge of the High Court of a territory may be appointed as a member of the Commission.

(4)Subject to the provisions of this section, a member of the Police Service Commission of the Federation shall vacate his office— (a) at the expiration of five years from the date of his appointment; or (b) if any circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Commission, would cause him to be disqualified for appointment as such a member. (5) A member of the Police Service Commission of the Federation may be removed from office by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, for inability to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or for misbehavior. (6) A member of the Police Service Commission of the Federation shall not be removed from office except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

Section 110—(1) Power to appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the Nigeria Police Force (including power to make appointments on promotion and transfer and to confirm appointments) and to dismiss and to exercise disciplinary control over person holding or acting in such offices shall vest in the Police Service Commission of the Federation:

Provided that the Commission may, with the approval of the Prime Minister and subject to such conditions as it may think fit, delegate any of its powers under this section to any of its members or to the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police or any other member of the Nigeria Police Force. (2) Before making any appointment to the office of Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police or removing the Inspector-General from office the Police Service Commission of the Federation shall consult the Prime Minister, and before making any appointment to the office of Commissioner of Police of a Region or removing the Commissioner from office the Commission shall consult the Premier of the Region. 

On assuming power on January 15, 1966, General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi (March 3, 1924- July 29, 1966) from Umuahia, promulgated Decree 7 of 1966. It was the decree that absorbed all the Regional and local government Police into the Nigeria Police Force. The decree is called The Special Constables Decree. 

The purpose of the decree was to modernise the law relating to the Nigeria Special Constabulary by repealing the Special Constables Act 1959 and replacing it with a Decree under which the Special Constabulary will form part of the Nigeria Police.

The decree has eleven sections. Section one deals with the creation of the Nigeria- Special Constabulary as part of the Nigeria Police Force and what constitutes the special constabulary. Section two deals with appointments of special constables in normal circumstances. Section three deals with resignation, suspension and dismissal of special constables. Section four deals with appointment of emergency special constables. Section five deals with provisions supplementary to section four. Section six  deals with equipment. Section seven deals with instruction of special constable. Section eight deals with allowance, pay, pension and gratutity. Section nine deals with interpretation. Section Ten deals with repeal of Special Constables Act 1959 and revocation of Government Notice No. 1598 (Approval of Maximum Personnel Establishment, Special Constables Training and Allowance) Regulation 1960. Section Eleven—deals with citation, extent and commencement to the Decree which shall come into force on such date as the Executive Council may be order published in the Gazette appoint. 

In addition, General Ironsi promulgated Decree No. 3 of 1966. The decree deals with the detention of certain specified persons in the interest of security of Nigeria for a period nor exceeding six months in such place or places as the Head of the National Military Government may from time to time direct. Persons so detained are entitled to make representations in writing to the National Military Government which may if it thinks fit constitute a tribunal for that purpose under conditions laid down in the decree. The decree suspends chapter III of the Constitution. 

On Friday January 28, General Ironsi addressed the nation during which he declared that: “I have abolished the offices of Agents-General in London”. 

To be concluded