By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governors’ Forum has called on President Mhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purportedly authorises the President to deduct 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.
The said deduction, according to the Governors, is patently unconstitutional.
The call was contained in a communique issued at the end of a Zoom Meeting of the PDP Governors’ and signed by their Chairman and Governors of Sokoto State, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and made available to journalists yesterday in Abuja.
The PDP Governors’ Forum, which similarly expressed worries at the controversy surrounding the Water Resources Bill, 2020 and the stepping down of the Bill in the House of Representatives, called for further consultations and public engagement in the processing of the Bill.
The Forum, which is an umbrella body for Governors elected on the platform of the party, revealed that it has
referred the Water Resource Bill to the bodies of Attorney Generals of PDP State governments for advice.
During the zoom meeting, in which Governors Tambuwal, Okezie Ikpeazu Abia State), Udom Emmanue (Akwa Ibom State),
Senator Bala Muhammad (Bauchi State); Douye Diri (Bayelsa State); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi State); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State); Nyesom Wike (Rivers State); Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (Oyo State) and Bello Muhammad Matawalle (Zamfara State) participated,
the Forum further observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States
The communiqué of the PDP Governors’ Forum reads in parr, “The meeting noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr. President, Commander in Chief.
“While acknowledging the many important innovations in the new law, the Forum emphasised the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr President as Chairman and 36 state Governors as members, fully operational and the clearing house on all issues bordering on the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
“The Forum further observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States. “Whereas S.12(2) gives the responsibility to the Police Service Commission, S. 12(4) gives either the Police Service Commission or Inspector-General of Police the same responsibility.
“This is even more regrettable as the Constitution gives this responsibility to the Police Service Commission (S. 215)(1)(b). We advise that the constitutional provision be upheld.
“Furthermore, the Forum canvassed for appropriate consultations with the Governors of various States on the deployment of Police Commissioners to the States since the Police is a common institution that executes the laws of both the Federal and State governments.
“The Forum implored Mr. President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purports to authorise the President to deduct 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, as it is patently unconstitutional. “The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the Federal, States and Local Governments ONLY. More creative funding options should be explored.