Following the recent Appeal Court pronouncement on the Police Act that was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, there has been a lot of apprehension in some quarters that the process will suffer a set back.
The call for Police reforms which has for long been on the front burner of discussions by many political and security analysts arising from the several complaints by the generality of Nigerians seemed to have reached its peak through the ongoing protests by the youths in many major cities in Nigeria.
However, there are now anxiety about the proposed reform with the recent pronouncement by the Appeal Court that the Police Reform Act is not in conformity with the provisions of the 1999 constitution on police matters. This has resulted in fear for many that ultimately, the efforts of the protesters could be in vain as the government will use the judgement as an excuse to stall it’s proposed reform plans which it promised the protesters but may have been unwilling to do.
But a look at the demands of the protesters reveals that they do not in any way have a correlation with the contents of the Act. Consequently, the judgement does not in any way have any negative effects on the police reforms being demanded by the protesting youths and cannot therefore make it to suffer any setback.
It should be recalled that among the demands made by the protesters include the disbandment of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) and end to police brutality. Others are restructuring of the police generally and review of salary of the Nigeria Police personnel to enable them earn better salary and perhaps to be given special salary package commensurate to the risk they face as security personnel.