The Rule of Law and Accountability Centre (RULAAC) has moved to monitor the implementation of the Police
Act, 2020 and the Police Trust Fund Act, 2019 to provide for proper accountability.
RULAAC at its inauguration of the Civil Society Organisations Observatory on the Implementation of the two Acts and Capacity Building for the South-South in Asaba, Delta State observed that the two police acts were critical to reforming the police for a better public image.
While X-raying the Police Act, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2020, the Executive Director of RULAAC, Okwchukwu Nwanguma commended its provisions but noted that without political will, efficient and effective implementation as envisaged by the act will fail.
He also faulted the appointment of the present Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Akali by President Buhari, saying it went against the letters and spirits of the act The Trumpet gathered.
He noted that despite the provisions of the police act many police officers, especially those of lower ranks still violate the rights of their suspects.
In her analysis of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (NPTF), Faith Nwandishi, Executive Director of Centre for Transparency Advocacy, said there was need to do a midterm review of the law to reveal if it has so far achieved its set out objectives.
She pointed out that the act, signed in 2019, was only meant to serve for a period of six years after which it becomes invalid, adding that it has already served three years and needed a midterm appraisal.
Nwandishi however picked holes in the composition of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the fund as provided by the act, noting that it was defective as the beneficiaries are members of the board.
She further observed that based on the provisions of the act, which allowed for just eight BOT members, there was no way the Board could ever sit since the law stated that to form a quorum there must be a minimum number of 10 members.
While saying that the NPTF was a good initiative, she held that the letters of the act had made it impossible for proper implementation.
In his keynote address, the Delta State Attorney General, Richard Bozimo, represented by a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs Ojefia Juliet, said the police were the endangered species in the society.
She urged RULAAC and other CSOs not to only monitor the implementation of the NPTF but ensure it follows up the implementation process to the later for proper accountability.
Also speaking at the event, the representative of the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 5 Benin City, and the Delta State Commissioner of Police, CSP Fidelis Odunna, O/C Legal, Delta Command, said the primary responsibility of the police was to implement law and order.
He commended RULAAC for the capacity building workshop, saying the police are not expected to be heard, adding that Civil Societies were the voice of the police.
He appealed to CSOs to continue to speak and fight for a better police for the society, noting that what Nigerians want was a better police and which was possible.
He said for a better society, there must be a better police, maintaining that even the police need people, especially CSOs to speak for them because they need help.