The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA), a Human Rights, pro-democracy and good governance group, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.
The coalition in a statement by its convener Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi on Wednesday in Abuja applauded the president saying the signing was timeous.
It would be recalled that President Buhari on Sept. 17 signed the police bill into law to enhance professionalism in their administration and regulation in the country.
The new law among other things provides for a more effective and well-organised police force driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in its operations and management of its resources.
It also enables and establishes an appropriate funding framework for the Police in line with what is obtainable in other Federal Government key institutions to ensure appropriate funding for all Police formations.
Olajengbesi said that the police were at the heart of a seamless functioning of any political entity given its strategic role in the maintenance of law and order and as such must be preserved.
He noted that inadequate funding, lack of manpower, poor training and expertise in the police had continually been felt by Nigerians who had to bear the brunt of abuse of human rights, and so on.
“It remains puzzling that an agency as strategic as such has been allowed to labour for too long under the limitations of anachronistic legislation that among other things did not reflect the reality of evolution over the years.
“We, therefore, commend all civil society organisations and individuals who have tirelessly sustained the clamour for a review of the enabling law governing the Nigeria Police.
“We particularly commend Mr Segun Awosanya, (Segalink) for his selfless role in advocating for the reforms which have so prominently featured in the new law,” he added.
He also commended the 9th National Assembly for midwifing forward-thinking legislation, while calling on the leadership of the Nigeria Police to ensure that the law yielded the desired result.
“We urge the Inspector-General of Police to set the proper tone for this “new beginning” by ensuring that utmost compliance and application is given to the law.”