National Conference: Delegates backs state police

The National Conference on Thursday voted for the establishment of state police in the country.

The conference, which also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to stop pardoning corrupt leaders, however said only states that had the financial capacity to fund state police should create it.

Apart from this, the conference adopted the recommendation by the Committee on National Security, that state laws should be used as a guide for community policing.

But there were a lot of disagreements among the delegates on the mode of transfer of federal policemen to states.

While some insisted that police officers should be allowed to serve only in their states for effective policing, others disagreed, saying such a gesture could be misused by politicians.

After a long argument, the delegates adopted the recommendation that at least, 70 per cent of federal police officers from the rank of Deputy Superintendent to Constable, should be allowed to serve in their states of origin.

Before the state police proposal was adopted, there were debates by delegates on what the mode of operation of the state police should be and whether there would not be any superiority battle between the federal and state police.

Some delegates were of the opinion that there would be conflict of command and operations between the federal and state police. They argued that there was no way both could work together without rancour.

They raised concern over the possibility of harmonious coexistence of both federal and state police in states, considering the fact that their duties might overlap.

One of the delegates, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said that state police should be autonomous and should operate as a coordinate with the federal police.

On his part, Mr. Femi Falana(SAN), said, “The state police will police and maintain state laws while the federal police will maintain federal laws.”

Some delegates also raised concern over the appropriate title for commissioners of police in charge of state and federal police as well as modalities for posting commissioners of police under the federal system to states.

A voice vote was later taken and delegates voted against seeking the consent of a state governor before the posting of a commissioner of police under the federal system to and out of his state.

They also voted against state governors being involved in the running of police commands in their states.

Also, a compulsory life insurance for all armed security personnel, including the police by government was accepted.