IGPs to stay in office for maximum four years

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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a bill that limits the tenure of an inspector-general of police (IGP) to only four years.

Buhari’s assent to the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, which repeals the Police Act, 2004, was announced via a statement on Thursday.

Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman, said the assent has been communicated to the national assembly clerk through a memo dated September 16, 2020.

Both chambers of the legislature had passed and harmonised their versions of the bill which seeks to provide a “more effective and well organised Police Force, driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in its operations and management of its resources”.

Among its major highlights is the stipulation of a fixed term in office for the inspector-general of police.

In the Police Act of 2004, the police IG’s tenure is irregular and only subject to the decision of the president, a provision which many have argued makes it insecure.

The new law, however, retains the power of the president to appoint and dismiss IGPs without the input of the federal lawmakers.

The senate had wanted a provision requiring it to confirm the IGP’s appointment, but Ibrahim Idris, the previous police IG, kicked against it, saying it would “politicise” the security agency.

The new law also seeks to strengthen community policing in the country and it establishes an appropriate funding framework for the police.

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