The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has underscored the need for the amendment of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act 2019 to correct what it called the structural defects inherent in the Act and then to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks therein.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, the Executive Director, RULAAC, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma noted that the amendment itself would take into account all the challenges identified in the Act.
“We are already studying the Act and we commissioned a policy bureau which will also come up with other recommendations on how to address the challenges we have identified.
“So, apart from the issue of the structure, there are also some inconsistencies in the Act. For example, in one section of the Act, it talks about five members of the Board and in another section, it talks about different number. So, that was an error in the Act, by the time we come up with our review of the Act, we will be able to identify these other challenges that need to be dealt with to ensure that the Trust Fund is set up as a Trust Fund not as a bureaucracy as it is currently”, he said.
On changing the orientation of the present crop of Police officers, Nwanguma recalled that the specific purpose of the Act was equipment, training and retraining explaining that when one talked about orientation, training and retraining addressed that.
“But of course, in addition to that, the new Police Act recognized the point you made about the culture of policing and the colonial orientation. So, it started in the background of the Act to deal with what should be the new operational philosophy of the Police”, he explained.
He continued, “The colonial Police Act was clear on its mission of the police as that of force of occupation. The new Police Act has changed that mission to make it a Police that is accountable to the people and one that partners with the community. So, the issues of orientation and culture are being addressed. So, training and retraining is part of the functions of the Act which will deal with the issue of orientation that you have just raised.
“Again, people have actually made that call for the extreme measure of clearing out all the personnel of the Nigeria Police and the reason for that is that Police recruitment has remained a challenge. The procedure of recruitment enables people who ought not to find their way into the Police to find their way into the police. People who cannot read or write, people who come into the Police with fake certificates or other people’s certificates, many people I know in the Police are answering names of owners of the certificates that they came in with. Many of them cannot write or read, some of them are not trainable. When you have people that you cannot train, it becomes a problem.”
Photo: Executive Director, RULAAC, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma.
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