Forum backs bill stopping policemen from taking alcohol on duty

STAKEHOLDERS in Kaduna have voted for a bill seeking to stop officers and men of the Nigeria Police from consuming alcohol, while on duty just as they kicked against Police Involvement in military duties.

The stakeholders who cut across professionals from the legal practice, media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were in Kaduna on Friday to review the draft Police Reform Bill sponsored by Sen.Ibn N’Allah.

In his welcome address, Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani said, the essence of the meeting was to get inputs of all important stakeholders into the proposed bill.

At the event tagged; ‘Stakeholders’ Forum on the Review of The Police Reform Bill in Nigeria’, and organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the stakeholders vehemently rejected the act of alcohol consumption by men and officers of the police on duty.

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The stakeholders however objected to a section of the bill which recommended that anyone who sells or gives alcohol to a police officer on duty should be punished. They said any erring police officer should face his or her punishment alone.

On the other hand, the stakeholders while seeking to protect men and officers of the Nigeria Police on duty agreed with sections recommending strict punishment for any member of the public guilty of assaulting a policeman.

While emphasising on a strict penalty for assault against police officers, the stakeholders equally adopted the proposed law seeking to compel citizens to assist a policeman against being assaulted.

Other sections of the bill reviewed by the stakeholders include sections seeking to establish community policing, spell out minimum qualifications for the recruitment of police personnel and ensuring publicity of resolutions from public complaints against police personnel and officers.

The Stakeholders kicked against the Involvement of the Police in military duties. Rather they said the Police should be limited to stabilizing Civil authorities.
The Forum wants the Police to only Investigate cases, while prosecution should be handled by the Ministry of Justice

The Stakeholders noted that Sophisticated crimes including cyber café are on the increase and want the Police to face the challenge squarely by broadening their knowledge.

The stakeholders called for patriotism on the part of the policemen and officers, saying that, even with the best of laws, Nigeria cannot get it right, except with patriotic citizenry and upright police.

While applauding the recent increment of police salaries, they, however, called for improvement in their other emoluments for the Police to make them people friendly.

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