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Police Reform Bill Bill passes 2nd reading at National Assembly, 7 things to know

The bill will repeal and re-enact the Police Act of 1943 to meet the current security challenges.

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Police Reform bill passes 2nd reading, 7 things to know play

Masked police officers (illustration)

(Guardian Nigeria )

The Police Reform bill passed second reading at the Nigerian Senate during plenary on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

This followed a resolution by the Senate to direct its constitutional review committee to put in place the machinery to amend Nigeria's constitution to allow for the creation of State Police with the mandate to pass the reform bill within the next two weeks.

The bill will repeal and re-enact the Police Act of 1943 to meet the current security challenges of a changing nation, according to a statement from the Office of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Highlights of the bill

According to the statement from Saraki's office, here are the highlights of the Police Reform bill:

1. The establishment of a service-oriented and modern Police that will meet globally acceptable policing standards in a democratic setting.

2. The modernization of the current Police Force (which was conceptualised and established in the colonial environment to protect colonial interests) with a Police Force that is geared towards protecting and safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens.

3. The establishment of guiding principles to ensure effective policing in Nigeria. These principles include efficiency and effectiveness; accountability, and transparency; protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms; and partnership with other security institutions.

4. Methods of dealing with abuse of weapons by police officers. The bill also ensures that the police and police officers are held accountable in their actions especially in the areas of arrest and detention of persons and searches.

5. Clauses that mandate record keeping by the police and clauses that ensure that citizens are fully protected from abuse by Police officers.

6. The establishment of a Community Police and Boards in all the States of the Federation that will consist of broad representatives of the community and the State to ensure effective, efficient and participatory community policing.

7. The establishment of an independent complaint authority to receive and investigate and effectively deal with complaints against police officers’ misconduct from the public.

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