Nigerians seeking to join the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, must possess a minimum of Ordinary National Diploma, OND, if a new law being proposed to reposition the force and strengthen policing in the country sails through. Already, the bill, which will seek to repeal the law establishing the Police Service Commission and establish a new one, is being fine-tuned at several levels by the Federal Government.
Under the proposal, which was sighted last night, the requirement for ordinary national diploma would apply to those seeking to join the NPF as constables and others seeking to enlist in the Nigeria Police Academy as cadets. Similarly, the proposed legislation also seeks to expand the membership of the Police Service Commission, PSC, to accommodate representatives from the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and Civil Society Organizations, CSOs.
Additionally, the impending law stipulates that the PSC board must accommodate a Nigerian youth not below the age of 35, a woman with interest in sexual harassment and gender-based violence and a retired police officer not below the rank of a police commissioner.
The bill also stipulates that unlike the existing law, chairman of the PSC should be a serving police officer not above the age of 55 at the time of appointment and not a card-carrying member of any political party, while the board should also include a retired judge of either the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal.
But the proposal makes an elaborate plan to curtail the excesses of police officers and men by stating that all erring NPF officers must be promptly investigated and punished over reported cases of brutality and abuses against Nigerians.
It was gathered that unlike the current PSC law, which gives no time frame for investigating and concluding complaints lodged by Nigerians against offending police officers, the new planned legislation stipulates a maximum period of six months to probe and sanction all erring police officers and men.
But to successfully investigate and punish all erring police officers and men, the new law demands that adequate steps must be taken to document the names, ranks, number of erring police officers and the police stations, dates and times where the offending police men and officers committed the offenses. The new legislation also plans to make policemen’s salaries and emoluments to be very attractive so as to attract the best hands into the force and eliminate indolent and criminally-minded elements from the system.
It was gathered last night that a multi-level stakeholders conversation that would include officials from the three tiers of the government would take place this week to consider the proposed legislation, which is being spearheaded by one of the arms of the federal government. The proposal is geared at repositioning the police in the wake of the recent nationwide #ENDSARS protests