By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, Oct. 14, 2020 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019.
The PDP governors made the call in a communique by the forum on Wednesday in Abuja.
It was issued after the forum’s meeting by its Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal.
Tambuwal said that the section which authorises the president to deduct 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund should be repealed.
He said that the deduction, according to the governors, was patently unconstitutional.
“The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the federal, states and local governments only.
“More creative funding options should be explored,” Tambuwal said.
He said that the meeting also noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr President.
Tambuwal said that the forum acknowledged the many important innovations in the new law.
He said that the forum, however, emphasised the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr President as Chairman and 36 state Governors as members, fully operational.
The council should be made the clearing house on all issues bordering on the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, he said.
“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 PDP governors, according to Tambuwal also expressed worries at the controversy surrounding the Water Resources Bill, 2020 and the stepping down of the Bill in the House of Representatives.
He called for further consultations and public engagement in the processing of the Bill.
Tambuwal said that the forum had
referred the Water Resource Bill to the bodies of Attorney Generals of PDP State governments for advice.
The zoom meeting, according to Tambuwal, was also attended by Governors of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Rivers, Oyo and Zamfara States.