The Federal Government has been advised to ensure training, provision of adequate equipment and motivation for the Police to prepare them for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, Executive Director, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), made the call on Monday in Lagos during a news conference to highlight. The Federal Government has been advised to ensure training, provision of adequate equipment and motivation for the force to prepare them for the forthcoming 2023 general elections. some major human rights and security issues that featured in the year.
According to Nwanguma, the Force is the lead security agency in election security and will have a key role to play in providing security for election personnel, materials, voters, and party agents among other stakeholders.
“Security is key to the integrity of the electoral process and the credibility of electoral outcomes,” he said.
He also urged the National Assembly to revisit the Police Service Commission (PSC) Act, to strengthen it for effective discharge of its oversight functions.
“In 2022, the National Assembly initiated a bill to review the PSC Act, the consideration and passage of that bill was stalled. In the coming year, we want to see a revisit of that bill.
“It was not so well for PSC which is the statutory external oversight and accountability mechanism for the police charged with appointment, discipline and promotion of officers except the IGP,” Nwanguma said.
He also noted that as part of the larger police reform agenda, the incoming government should take urgent steps to strengthen the Force external accountability mechanisms, especially the PSC to curb impunity for police human rights abuses.
“There is need to strengthen police internal control systems and external oversight and accountability mechanisms put in place to ensure enforcement discipline and conformity with professional standards.
“Effective external accountability processes may make the force more publicly accountable,” he said.
He commended the Complaints Response Unit (CRU) of the Force under the leadership of DCP Ishaku Basiran, for demonstrable commitment to the enforcement of discipline and checking impunity for police human rights violations and misconduct.
“This year, the CRU in partnership with RULAAC and with support from McArthur Foundation for the first time since its inception in 2015, published its quarterly reports for 2021 and part of 2022.
“It showed the numbers of complaints received, officers disciplined for various misconducts and amounts of money in extortion recovered from corrupt police officers,” he said.
Also, Mr Ohams Chinedu, Principal Officer, National Human Rights Commission, called on the media to intervene and ask necessary questions to end violations of human rights.
The issues highlighted by RULAAC included brute force approach to law enforcement, oversight and police accountability, and endless investigation by ICPC among many others.