State Police: To Be Or Not To Be (1) -Mike Ozekhome

Nigeria is currently in a state of security quagmire.

There are so many biting challenges facing our beloved country. Insecurity of lives and properties has taken the centre stage. For over a decade now, Nigeria has been facing the heinous torture of Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, kidnapping, armed robbery and militancy, all of which have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives of innocent Nigerians. With these wanton killings, many have wondered if truly Nigeria indeed has security agencies, paid with the tax payers’ money, to protect lives and properties.

Notwithstanding the existence of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Nigeria Police Force, DIA, NIA, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Department of State Security Services (DSS), unspeakable crimes still take place unabated. Of all these security agencies, the Nigeria Police Force is the one that is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of the day-to-day protection of lives and properties of Nigerians.

While Nigeria is still reeling from the April, 2014 abduction of Chibok girls, one year to the 2015 elections, the spectre of yet another abduction of school girls has just been reenacted at the Federal Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State.

It was perpetrated by the same Boko Haram insurgents. Many concerned Nigerians have cried out and suggested ways and means to improve on our security situation. One of such suggestions is the creation of State Police.

ORIGIN AND STATE OF POLICING IN NIGERIA

“Police” is a word derived from the Greek word, “Polis”, which consists of non-ecclesiastical administration that has to do with safety, health and public order of the state.

Though derived from the Greek, it was the Romans that actually perfected the system, with the Roman “Policies”, which equated with the Greek “Politeira” – a symbol of power that resided in a central authority. In the UK, policing developed as a local affair which makes every person to maintain law and order.

State or provincial Police constitutes a type of sub-national territory police Force that abounds particularly in the Oceania, South Asia and North America. State Police simply means the absence of a centralized national Police Force, which is outside the control of the IGP.

This means a death blow to the over bleated, behemoth federal Police Force established under Sections 214 and 215 of the 1999 Constitution. Section 214 thereof provides for a unified and centralized Police Force that operates from the centre, and prohibits the establishment of any other form of policing in Nigeria.

NOW THIS

This was why and how Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State cried out. Herdsmen had given him notice of a future attack. The State Commissioner of Police was aware. The helpless governor cried to the centre in Abuja. No help came.

The herdsmen attacked. The Governor wept like a baby. Lives were lost. Mass burial took place. The world was shocked. It appears that Nigeria is the only prominent democracy in the world that still maintains a unified central Police Force over a population of 180 million people, 36 federal states, and 774 LGAs.

The New York Police Department is one of the most organized Police Forces in the world, founded by the New York City government that is headed by a Mayor. In the UK, there are about 45 territorial Police Forces and three special Police Forces. So, why must Nigeria retain her non-functional centralized Police Force? (To be continued next week).

AND THIS

The futile attempt by rented miscreants to dance on the sacred grave of Gani Fawehinmi (Part 7)

ENCORE

Today, we shall continue and conclude our series on the above topic. The Nigerian Bar Association members, including some selfishly wealthy private practitioners have carried their several years of legal practice before Court Martials to defend accused persons where no Judge is a member and where the Chairman and most of the members are military personnel. This is a Tribunal that has a power of life and death and the Bar is so timid to raise a query against it.

“How can the Bar attempt a lopsided discriminatory, timid and infantile hypocrisy in this matter? The Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Head of the Nigerian Legal System today and the Head of the Highest Disciplinary Body in Nigeria, acknowledged the Tribunal and swore in all the members of all the Tribunals in the country.

The Attorney-General of the Federation is the Head of the Nigerian Bar and he drafted the Decrees. The Nigerian Bar Association paid courtesy calls to him, clinking wine glasses with him in his office.

The Judges in these Tribunals are themselves lawyers. The prosecuting Counsels in these Tribunals are members of the Bar. Yet in its morbid and insensate hypocrisy, schizophrenic and chameleonic, diddling, swizzling and wangling the Nigerian Bar Association has no complaint against the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General, the Judges who are members of the Tribunals and prosecutors. Right thinking members of the Nigerian public, I leave the judgement to you to assess the resolution of the Nigerian Bar Association passed on the 5th May, 1984.’’

CONCLUSION

I will conclude these series on Gani and what he represented and still represents, by advising those hirelings and their pay masters who never knew the real Gani, to stop their profanity and wanton bastardization of his personae and history, through their suborned disgraceful acts when they vainly attempted to prevent me from speaking at his memorial lecture at Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. They should be ashamed of themselves.

They wanted to appropriate the endearing dignity and character of a man they never knew, never met in person and never worked with.

They forgot, or deliberately ignored the fact that I was his Deputy Head of Chambers, his right hand man, his mentee and unapologetic disciple who, with all humility, has been carrying on his legendary good works to the best of my ability.

They have been miffed that I have refused to join their adopted government of impunity to trample on the inalienable rights of the Nigerian people. They bellyache over my audacity in challenging the rampaging lopsided status quo.

They can’t understand where I derive the courage from, to speak truth to authority, to challenge government excesses, to answer the questions and question the answers.

They wonder why I leave no stone unturned and no turn ‘unstoned’ in exposing the manifest duplicity, selfcontradictions, sheer hypocrisy, lies and propaganda of the present government that has failed in all indices of governance. Gani would have done all these and even more, if he were still with us. May Allah grant him alijarnah firdausi.

Thank you Transparency International for helping me out, that this government is the most corrupt since the Lugardian amalgamation of Nigeria on January 1, 1914. Thank you Amnesty International and African Human Rights Watch, for helping me to expose this government’s relentless trampling on the rights of Nigerian citizens and willful disobedience to court orders.

Well done World Bank, IMF and the London Financial Times for exposing lies and rubbishing the fake economic data being reeled out by the government. Sorry, Dapchi girls for being victims of a clueless and insensate government, that wines and dines at political meetings over 2019 and at weddings few days after your mindless abduction. God will grant you safe return.

Amen. Sorry, Agatu, Demsa, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Adamawa, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Benue, Plateau, Zamfara and other places where lives and properties are daily wasted. No thanks to resurgent and more potent Boko Haram, marauding herdsmen, insecurity, debilitating hunger, starvation, inflation, corruption, impunity nepotism cronyism and blatant mis-governance. God bless Nigeria. I rest my case.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten”. (Calvin Coolidge).

LAST LINE

Hope Nigerians are reading, digesting and awaiting the next exploring discourse of Sunday Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb., LL.D?

• Follow me on twitter @ MikeozekhomeSAN