The Bill for an Act to amend Police Act, 2014, to provide for enlistment requirement and welfare, align punishments with realities, 2017 scaled second reading at the Senate on Tuesday.
The Bill, sponsored by Sen. Remi Tinubu (APC-Lagos) scaled first reading on June 15.
Leading debate on the bill, Tinubu said the Nigeria Police Force was the agency of government tasked with the maintenance of peace, law and order within the country’s border.
She said that the Nigeria Police Act empowered the agency to preserve law and order among others, adding that the importance of its role could not be over-emphasised.
She, therefore, argued that there was the need to strengthen such important institution.
”To do this, the enabling laws must be effective, efficient and functional.
“In a world that is inundated with so much crime, the Police should be dependable.
“The Nigeria Police Force was established in 1930 and the Police Act was promulgated in 1943.
“In spite of the fact that the world has been a moving train, the Police Act and regulation have remained transfixed.
‘“The results are provisions that have become counter-productive and are failing. A case in point is the provision that discriminates against women.
“The Police regulations allow enlistment of men at the age of 17, while the enlistment age for women is 19.
“I am yet to find a reason for the variation. The provision is discriminatory and should be amended,’’ she said.
The lawmaker further enumerated provisions of the Act that required amendment.
According to her, another case in point is Section 42 of the Police Act which provides for a fine of N200 or imprisonment for a period of one year for impersonation of police officer.
”The punishment in this case, no longer matches the offence,” she said.
According to her, impersonation in other climes for instance, is a grievous offence that attracts stiffer punishment.
She said that the objective of the bill was to ensure that punishments contained in the extant law was in tandem with the current realities.
In their contributions, other lawmakers supported the amendment of the Police Act to meet with current realities.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, referred the bill to the Committee on Police Affairs to be returned in four weeks.