From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has suggested that policing in Nigeria be transferred from exclusive list to concurrent list to make the task of fighting crime and criminality easier.
Exclusive list refers to powers of the Federal Government alone, while concurrent list refers to powers shared by federal and state governments to act or intervene in a matter. However, the powers of the federal government overrides that of state if there is a conflict i a matter under concurrent list. Also, residual list refers to powers that are left to or designated to the states.
Ekweremadu made the call at a lecture entitled “Federalism and the legal framework for combating corruption in Nigeria,” which he delivered at the Fourth National Public Service Lecture organised by the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) in Ibadan. He said decentralised policing system, in which each of the 36 states of the federation would be allowed to set up its own police system, “is the norm in federal jurisdictions, such as the United States, Canada, Brazil and Australia. And such sub-regional police bodies will co-exist with the federal police.”
According to him, decentralised policing will make the task of preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting certain offences and small-corruption easier.
Ekweremadu said decentralised policing “will set in motion competitive policing because states with less corruption and less crime rates stand to attract more investments and quality residents that will, in turn, create job opportunities and raise tax revenues.’
He said the state police will absorb unemployed youths and lessen the incidents of fraud, such as the ‘yahoo boys,’ while the incident of corruption would easily be detected and tracked because people within a locality tend to know themselves the more.
“If someone’s standard of living rises, or someone begins to live above his or her means, they easily detect. It will also reduce the challenges of language barrier, cultural differences and ethnic solidarity. Investigations will be effectively concluded without the disruption of transfers to other far-flung states.
“To achieve this, the nation needs to move policing to the concurrent list.”