Topic: Lawyers demand senate confirmation over IGP's Appointment.  (Read 1860 times)

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Lawyers demand senate confirmation over IGP's Appointment.
« on: January 20, 2014, 11:47:23 AM »
Prominent lawyers in the country yesterday called on the National Assembly to immediately amend the Police Act to compel the president to send the name of future Inspectors-General of Police (IGPs) to the Senate for confirmation before their appointment.

The lawyers, Femi Falana (SAN), Mr Jiti Ogunye, Mr Festus Keyamo Bamidele Atura and Fred Agbaje, agreed that future IGP should be subjected to the screening of the National Assembly so that their loyalty would be to the Nigerian people instead of to the President who is the sore appointing authority.

They also pointed out that if the names of the recently appointed service chiefs could be sent to the Senate for confirmation, then there is no cogent reason why the president should not do the same with the police boss whose organisation interacts with the public more directly everyday.

On his part, Falana noted that under the constitution, the appointment of the IGP is made by the president on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council and that the council is constituted by the president, the 36 governors and the IGP.

But according to him, since 1999, no president has sought the advice of the Police Council with respect to the appointment of any IGP.

Falana said: “If that council is functional, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police would have been called to order.

“However, in the interest of national security it is desirable that the appointment and removal of the IGP be approved by the National Assembly.”

On his part, human rights activist, Bamide Aturu, that the Police Act be amend to mandate the executive arm of government to send the name of prospective IGP to the National Assembly for confirmation because the IGP or the entire Police Force interacts with the public every day and their allegiance should be to the people.

He also insisted that the person nominated for the post must be a person of integrity, of sound professionalism and somebody that cannot easily become a tool in the hand of politicians.

Aturu further stressed that the country needs to know the appointee’s past and his or her competence level.

He said, “We need to amend the Police Act and all the relevant laws so that we can made it clear that the President cannot just appoint anybody without sending their name to the National Assembly .

Popular lawyer and activist, Festus Keyamo, said he was supportive of the idea that the appointment of a new IGP be subjected to confirmation by the National Assembly so that his loyalty would not only be to the president but to the whole country.

On his part, constitutional lawyer, Fred Agbaje backed the call, saying it would deepen democracy:

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