A bill seeking to establish state police has been rejected by the house of representatives committee on the constitution amendment.
The bill which is sponsored by Onofiok Luke, a lawmaker from Akwa Ibom, had passed the second reading at the lower legislative chamber in July 2021.
Currently, the central authority on “the police and other government security services established by law” is the federal government.
But the legislation sought to move such powers in section 214 (c) from the exclusive list to the concurrent list, to empower “both the national assembly and houses of assembly of states to legislate on police and other security matters”.
At its sitting on Wednesday, 14 legislators voted against the amendment while 11 lawmakers voted in favour.
Idris Wase, the deputy speaker of the house who is the chairman of the committee, had put the bill to voting after Fred Agbedi, a lawmaker from Bayelsa, raised a motion that the bill is voted on.
Speaking against the bill, Muhammed Wudil, a legislator from Kano, said: “There are lots of things as regards the creation of state police. There is a lot of apprehensions, most especially the nature of the country now; we are almost — in some cases divided and any governor can decide to take out whatever security measures against political opponents.”
Following the outcome of the vote, it means the bill will not be subjected to any further legislative work.
The development comes weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari ruled out state police as an option to address the country’s security challenges.
This is despite the fact that in recent times the demand for state police has heightened in many parts of the country, owing to the escalating insecurity.
Governors in the country’s southern states have emphasized the need for state police as against the federal government’s current policing model.