22 January 2013

Nigeria: Senate to Summon Police On Rot in College

Photo: Vanguard
Jonathan in a police college hostel

The Senate is set to summon authorities in the Nigeria Police Force to explain the reason behind the decay at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos.

Making the disclosure Monday, Senator Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North) said the discovery in the college as well as the visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to the college, showed that institutions vested with the responsibility to champion the wellbeing of police officers have failed.

According to him, when the authorities appear before the Senate, they will have to explain how the funds allocated to the Nigeria Police have been disbursed and utilised.

Lawan, who said the Senate would also beam its searchlight into the allocation and management of resources of the Nigeria Police, added that the Senate would adequately ensure that erring individuals are sanctioned.

He said: "I don't have any figure offhand as to how much has been appropriated. But one thing is very certain and clear from the visit of Mr. President to the Police College in Lagos that some agencies of government have not been living up to expectations. The public accounts committee has already taken some steps to ensure that the police authorities appear before the committee to explain the utilisation of the funds appropriated particularly to the college.

"But we are also expanding beyond the college because this is a sign that all is not okay with the Police organisation. I want to hope that the rot will stop with the Police College. But if in the course of our investigation, we discover that it is more than the college and that some organisations within the police are facing the same thing, then we have to take very serious action."

"First, we have to determine whether the funds were adequate so that if the funds were not adequate, we like to see how prudent, economically and efficiently the scare resources were utilised. If however, the funds were enough and that someone failed to do his or her duty, we will surely recommend serious sanctions for whoever is responsible," Lawan said.

The senator also admitted that the National Assembly did not live up to its responsibility in its oversight function as a result of its failure to uncover the rots, but added that bulk of the blame should be put on Police Affairs Ministry and Police Service Commission.

"I will agree to the extent that the National Assembly particularly the Senate and House Committees on Police Affairs should have detected this rather than the president. But it is also very correct to say that there is Police Affairs Ministry and Police Service Commission.

"These are institutions that are directly involved with them. So, it is a responsibility that we share. But I believe that we are supposed to take the lead in the oversight process because this is our major work. We are supposed to be visiting institutions and organisations that have been appropriated public funds to ensure that the funds are utilised properly," he added.

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