Group urges amendment of PSC Act as part of police reform


The United Global Resolve for Peace (UGRFP), an NGO, has called for the amendment of the Act establishing the Police Service Commission (PSC) to reflect current exigencies on the practicality of its functions and purpose.

Mr Shalom Olaseni, Convener of UGRFP, on Thursday in Abuja said the amendment had become very necessary as it would ensure a better Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and address the demand of #Endpolicebrutality protesters.

Olaseni said that the call for the amendment of the PSC Act was also to strengthen the commission to function better.

“Police Service Commission, being the oversight body by constitutional law and an enactment of the National Assembly over the NPF, must receive the full backing of the government to function optimally and independently.

“The convention of appointing a retired Inspector-Generals of Police to oversee the PSC as its Chairman raises more problems than it solves any.

“This tradition must be discontinued as the commission must be run independently of personnel with police service history to avoid bias and prejudice in the discharge of the function of the commission.

“UGRFP recommends that retired jurists, justices, judges or avowed security and human rights experts should henceforth serve as Chairmen of the PSC to forestall any conflict of loyalty and function or any resemblance of the same within the commission,” Olaseni said in a statement.

According to him, the PSC Act is clear that only neutral persons can and should serve as chairman of the commission, a provision that has been neglected in the appointment of chairmen of the commission.

The UGRFP convener noted that the PSC must enjoy adequate staffing and budgetary provisions to better serve the public; as such, its budgets and finances must be independent.

Olaseni noted that a lot of factors had militated against the police and that efforts must be made to immediately curtail unlawful stop and search patrols, illegal raids and other extra-judicial matters.

He suggested that the prosecution of erring officers would go a long way in restoring the confidence of the public in the Nigeria Police.

“There is an urgent need to mainstream youths and civil society organisations into the Nigeria policing system through a strategic stakeholders’ forum to protect the public, especially youths from becoming scapegoats of future security arrangements.

“Public trust has been eroded in the Nigeria Police Force, and the priority of the NPF must be the restoration of the same through transparent policing, psycho-social training, thorough screening and vetting of police officers.

“Until the Nigeria Police Force becomes answerable to the oversight function of the Police Service Commission, all or most gains in the momentum of the #EndSARS protest would be lost in due course,” Olaseni added. (NAN)

Oct 15 2020 @ 19:27 GMT

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