With President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 on Thursday, which repeals the Police Act, 2004, the tenure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has been limited to only four years.
According to the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari’s assent has been communicated to the National Assembly Clerk through a memo dated September 16, this year.
Both chambers of the national Assembly had passed and harmonised their versions of the Bill, which seeks to provide a “more effective and well-organised Police Force, driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in its operations and management of its resources.”
Among its major highlights is the stipulation of a fixed term in office for the IGP.
In the Police Act of 2004, the IGP’s tenure was irregular and only subject to the prerogative of the President, a provision many thought makes it insecure.
The new law, however, retains the power of the President to appoint and dismiss the IGP without the input of the National Assembly.
The senate had wanted a provision requiring it to confirm the IGP’s appointment, but the IGP, Ibrahim Idris, kicked against the move, saying it would “politicise” the security agency.
The new law also seeks to strengthen community policing in the country and establishes an appropriate funding framework for the Police.