0.5% Federal Allocation deduction for police fund unconstitutional ― PDP governors

The Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) has observed that the deduction of 0.5% out of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund is unconstitutional.

It has, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to take steps to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purportedly authorizes the Federal government to make the deduction.

The governors made the declaration in a communique issued at the end of a Zoom Meeting of the forum and signed by their Chairman and Governors of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal.

The communique was made available to the media in Abuja on Wednesday.

The governors also showed concern over the Water Resources Bill, 2020, calling for its stepping down its consideration in the House of Representatives to allows for more consultations and public engagement.

The Forum disclosed that on its part, it has referred the Water Resource Bill to the bodies of Attorney Generals of PDP State governments for advice.

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It observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States

The communiqué read in part: “The meeting noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr President, Commander in Chief.

“While acknowledging the many important innovations in the new law, the Forum emphasised the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr President as Chairman and 36 state Governors as members, fully operational and the clearinghouse on all issues bordering on the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

“The Forum further observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States. “Whereas S.12(2) gives the responsibility to the Police Service Commission, S. 12(4) gives either the Police Service Commission or Inspector-General of Police the same responsibility.

“This is even more regrettable as the Constitution gives this responsibility to the Police Service Commission (S. 215)(1)(b). We advise that the constitutional provision be upheld.

“Furthermore, the Forum canvassed for appropriate consultations with the Governors of various States on the deployment of Police Commissioners to the States since the Police is a common institution that executes the laws of both the Federal and State governments.

“The Forum implored Mr President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purports to authorise the President to deduct 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, as it is patently unconstitutional. “The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the Federal, States and Local Governments ONLY. More creative funding options should be explored.

“The Forum noted the controversy surrounding the Water Resources Bill, 2020 and noted the stepping down of the Bill in the House of Representatives. It urged for further consultations and public engagement in the processing of the Bill.

“The Forum referred the Bill to the bodies of Attorney Generals of PDP State governments for advice.

“Finally, the Forum congratulated Nigeria @ 60 and enjoined the government and the people of Nigeria to redouble efforts on national unity, national cohesion, economic, social and political integration and progress in the years ahead.”

In attendance at the meeting were Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom State),

Senator Bala Muhammad (Bauchi State); Douye Diri (Bayelsa State); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi State); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State); Nyesom Wike (Rivers State); Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (Oyo State) and Bello Muhammad Matawalle (Zamfara State).

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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