The Nigeria Police Force is ready to improve the procedures of the ‘stop and search’ and other operations in line with the provisions of the Police Act 2020.
This was the position of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Training, Mr Leye Oyebade, who was a guest on Police Reform Townhall.
Asked about the operations of the police since the law was signed, he said, “It has to do with implementation strategy… and I will say that we are ready because the police must move with time.
“We cannot be static. We must be ready to move with the change and globally, what is operational is what we are going to do.”
The Police Act 2020 provides that before police personnel can conduct stop and search, they must indicate their names, police station, object of search, purpose of search, be in uniform or wear a visible and valid identity card.
It also states that during the search, police personnel must seek the cooperation of persons being searched while personal searches must be done by officers of the same sex, and out of public view.
After the search, the law provides that there should be a recording and documentation of the operation.
While President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Act in September 2020, stop and search operations of the police have yet to show that the law has been implemented.
In his remarks, Oyebade stated that the police needed to put certain measures in place to ensure the effectiveness of the new law.
He added that efforts were ongoing to maintain the peace during protests, noting that the normal process was to disperse demonstrators with water cannons.
“The capacity of the men must be built up and the resources must also be provided, and that is why I am talking about the training and re-training of the men for emotional intelligence and for us to be able to know about the democratic policing that is needed in this democratic dispensation.
“When you talk about searching, definitely we will get to get to the level of training our men on stop and search and we will get all the gadgets that are necessary,” the DIG said.