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Stakeholders decry poor police act enactment

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By Timothy Akintola

Groups overtly criticize the poor implementation of the Police Act 2020.

Two years after the country witnessed one of its biggest national Protest against the brutality of the police force, there have been little or no recorded changes. There were also complaints about the outdated Nigeria Police Act, before 2020, was last updated in 2004 and even though signed before the protest, one of the things that the 2020 #ENDSARS protest ensured was the need for an implementation of the newly-signed Police Act. Thus, 2020 witnessed the 2004 Police Act repealed by the Nigeria Police Act 2020, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Numerous stakeholders and Security experts have however been taken back as a result of the state of the Police Act, noting that until the Nigeria Police Act 2020 is fully implemented, the state of the public safety would continually deteriorate. While security experts met in Abuja, with the aim of preferring measures that would help in the implementation of the Police Act, they were heavily critical of the state of Insecurity that has climaxed overtime. According to these stakeholders, the deteriorating state of the country’s security has hugely affected the country’s economic status quo, as public safety is crucial to growing the business environment.

Public safety is always pivotal to economic growth of every community.

Laoye Jaiyeola, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), noting the role of the public safety stated that public safety is always pivotal to Economic Growth due to the reduction of crimes and enhancement of people’s desire to live and set up businesses in particular communities. He noted that every community needs an effective and efficient police force to thrive, maintain law and order, promote Peace and harmony, as well as securing the lives and properties of the people, averring that the police is an important institution, not just for protecting lives, but also ensuring a better business environment and Economic Development.

Jaiyeola admitted that the 2020’s #ENDSARS protest had a huge impact on the country’s shaky economy, as well as the debilitating aftereffect of the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is now being worsened by the current state of insecurity that has plagued the country. This issue, according to Jaiyeola was the proponent reason for the meeting, which was tagged “Open Forum on Public Safety” Towards Implementation of the Police Act 2020. The implementation of this Police Act ensures the provision for effective policing services which will be based in accountability, transparency, Human Rights protection and partnership with other Security Agencies.

It is important to consider economic & social cost of every crime response.

Nnanna Ude, a board member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) also asserted that while everyone is most likely to perceive public safety in terms of crime rate and the emergency response, it is also important to consider the economic and social cost associated with each crime, like medical care costs, loot earnings and property damage, all direct economic losses that the crime’s victim suffers, as well as the costs from government incurred on police protection, correctional programs and legal services.

Peter Gad, the Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation and convener of this event also pointed out that main importance of the forum was aimed at actualizing the implementation of the Act that will make provision for a much improved police force that work with immense professionalism, transparency and accountability in its operations and resource management. He further stated that moving forward, there would be a stakeholders engagement that will ensure brainstorming on plans for the implementation of the new police act.

CLEEN Foundation to ensure public safety, security and access to justice.

Gad agreed that the security state of the country is continually overwhelmed by increased cases of crimes and stated that the CLEEN Foundation is working to ensure a prioritization of public safety, access to justice and security through research, legislative advocacy demonstration programs, as well as partnering with the government, Private Sector and Civil Society. Noting some of the foundation’s activities, he stated that CLEEN launched a project in 2021 which was aimed at strengthening the police reform and was supported by the MacArthur Foundation, a foundation that aims to create human right-respecting policing environment.


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