Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Monday, maintained that the creation of state police remains the solution to Nigeria’s insecurity challenges.
He stated that one of the arguments against this was that governors would use the state police to haunt their political opponents. Quite on the contrary, he stated, the state police would provide adequate security.
Falana, who spoke at the maiden memorial public lecture in honour of the late Professor Olumuyiwa Awe at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, said: “Many citizens are opposed to the creation of state police for the fear that it may be used to haunt political opponents of some state governors. He revealed that he knows a state governor in the South-West who once had a killer squad headed by his Chief Security Officer, a police officer.
“One of the unarmed citizens mowed down by the illegal squad was a World Bank expert. All efforts to prosecute the suspects have been frustrated by the state government. The story is the same in a few other states in the country. To that extent the fear of the possible manipulation of state police is genuine."
Falana continued, “To avoid a situation whereby abuse of police powers is decentralized, any security service established by state governments should be democratically controlled. The service will be founded by the state governments and superintended by an independent state police council of five members. The members of the council should be accredited representatives of the state government, labour, women, youths and the business community."
He added, “The service will police the state and see to the enforcement of all the laws enacted by the House of Assembly."