Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, on Wednesday disagreed with the plan of the Senate to adopt a Bill to make it mandatory for the upper chamber to screen and confirm the appointment of prospective IGP.
The police boss also kicked against sections of the proposed Bill which empower the Senate to remove the IGP from office whenever the upper chamber considered it necessary.
Idris was emphatic that the Police Act must not be amended in such a way to politicize the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
The IGP spoke at a public hearing on “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Police Act CAP P19 Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enact the Police Act, 2018” organized by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs.
The appearance of Idris on Wednesday at the committee’s sitting was the first time the police boss honoured Senate invitation since his refusal to appear to answer questions over the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye in April this year.
It is believed that the IGP’s submission on the controversial proposed sections will go a long way in forming the opinion of members of the committee.
The Senate Committee also proposed the pruning down of the number of Deputy-Inspector of Police (DIG) from seven to one.
On the pruning down the number of DIGs, Idris said that there was no doubt that such amendment would increase the work load of the IGP.
Observers said that the Senate should rather find ways and means to make the duties of the IGP less cumbersome for effectiveness.
The police boss insisted that creation of the position of only one DIG would put too much pressure on the IGP.
Idris said: “You can’t police a people without their consent. The provisions of the Bill are in consonance with the contents of the Criminal Justice System.
“The confirmation and removal of the IGP by the Senate is not necessary.
“It will politicize the Police Force. It should be expunged from the Bill. The tenure of the IGP of five years should be maintained.
“The appointment of the IGP in consultation with the Police Service Commission is appropriate.
“There should not be any confirmation by the Senate. This is the desire and position of the Police Force.
“There should not be one DIG. There should be seven as we have already. Having one will put too much pressure on the IGP. It reduces the workload.”
Chairman, Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith, in his observation told the committee that the rot in the Police Force has degenerated to a level where criminals and drug barons now gift houses to policemen.
The former IGP opposed the proposal to expunge “Force” and retain only “Nigeria Police” saying it should be done in line with the provisions of the constitution.
Smith said, “I have few observations. One is the name from Nigeria Police Force to Nigeria Police. If the name has to be changed, it has to be done constitutionally.
“We met a police when all the training schools were working. We met a police where you could not be promoted without writing an examination.
“We met a police where every policeman lived in the barracks. “Some policemen are given houses by criminals and hard drug bandits. That needs to change. We should think of additional funding sources for the police.
“In Lagos State, a governor came into office. He didn’t like what he met on ground. He invited some of us to change what was on ground. That was what gave birth to Lagos State Police Trust Fund.
“We can’t tackle insecurity without this. Let us think of that. The annual yearly budget ritual can’t help. It will not take us anywhere. If you want a highly motivated Police Force, we should adequately fund it.”