The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim, on Friday said that State Police can only work for local issues like arrest of local thieves and security.
According to him, national elections and other issues would be beyond State police when created.
He spoke with State House correspondents after observing Jumat prayer at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Expressing his reservations about the creation of state police, he said: “I have my reasons. I am Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs and I have made a lot of research on the issue of state police and regional police. It was on before, there was a Willink Commission in 1954 which decided for fear of minorities not to allow regional police.
“Of course, if you want to do state police, you may do it but it must be confined to specific aspect of law enforcement, you can take away things like national elections but probably local issues, arrest of local thieves, local control of security, but it must be limited.” he said
On the declaration by the SGF that President Buhari will contest, he said “Well, SGF is SGF, so he has better ears of the President than me, so they might have discussed. But I think President Buhari has started a lot of good things for this country and he needs second term to continue to consolidate what he has achieved so far and I am in support.
Asked whether senators will support Buhari, he said “Well, senators are senators but I know the majority will do so. All the promises he has made about anti corruption, security, he has finished Boko Haram although there are lingering security problems now which I am sure he is taking serious action to stop.”
Speaking on the report of El Rufai Committee on restructuring, the senator said, “This is going to the party and the party will most likely pass it to the Senate or the National Assembly but what I realised from my investigation is that, there is serious opposition to state police from the National Assembly and that is as a result of the relationship between some governors and their National Assembly members.
“They feel they are not handling local government elections democratically let alone if they have state police. So obviously if the governors want that portion to pass, they must have good relationship with the National Assembly members.
According to him, the alteration of the sequence of election by the National Assembly has not created any problem but democracy in action. He however, pointed out that the amendment done so far is illegal.
“First, the amendment of the sequence of the election was passed from the House. When we set for harmonisation, the House version was adopted. But those of us who are old in this chamber know that it was absolutely illegal. If you look at Section 72 of the constitution, it is clear that it is INEC that is mandated to fix date, already INEC has fixed date and nobody can change it.
“There was a legal case in 2003 during Obasanjo’s regime, when the National Assembly passed a law to hold all elections in one day. That matter went to court because Obasanjo refused to sign it, they over ruled his veto by two-third, then INEC went to court.
“Court in its jurisdiction declared that nobody can interfere with INEC. That was upheld by court of appeal and we didn’t go to Supreme Court, so it stopped there. Therefore, that judgement is still subsisting that nobody can interfere with the functions of INEC in terms of fixing dates of elections.
“Now, I learnt the committee erroneously used the aborted constitutional amendment which was made in 2014.
He described as the alteration as ” too costly” and stated further that: “Look at the amount of money that will be spent, where will you get that amount of money, what about the timing?
“It will expose some of our colleagues to danger. If you have a senator alone will contest the election, he must pay his agents, he must pay for security, he must pay for everything. And if he is afraid of his governor, his governor is now free to deal with him.
“Of course if he contest together with the president as put by INEC, for the presidential election, the security aspect, even the funding, will cover him up. So, obviously my colleagues have not thought much on this issue. It is not legal at all.” he said