Only 275 lawyers in Police legal department, CP laments

Posted by News Express | 10 January 2020 | 533 times

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Mr. Augustine Sanomi, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Legal Department of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has lamented that the Section has only 275 Police lawyers for its operations nationwide.

Sanomi, who made the revelation, on Thursday, while speaking at a meeting between police lawyers and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, at the Force Headquarters, in Abuja, described this as grossly inadequate and pleaded with the authority to act swiftly to redress the ugly situation.

Nigerian Tribune reports that he, however, advised that as means of addressing this, the Police lawyers who passed out from the Police academy be posted to the legal section after their one year probation period and to remain in the section for a period of at least five years before being transferred to other general duties.

According to him, “It is imperative to state that the Nigeria Police as an organization has the highest number of lawyers. To achieve optimal performance the section requires adequate manpower.

“However, the present personnel of the section are inadequate, this is due to the unwillingness of some Police lawyers to serve in the legal section as well as the retirement of several personnel of the section throughout the country.

“As of date, the Section has a staff strength of only 275 police lawyers in all the sections of the force throughout the country which is viewed as grossly inadequate.”

However, in a swift reaction, IGP Adamu assured that the Legal department would henceforth be prioritised under his leadership scheme and the welfare of lawyers in the Nigeria Police as well as funding concerns which have been demotivating factors in their activities shall be addressed.

According to him, “my idea is to have a Police Force that embodies the values of fairness, justice and equity.

“This is informed by the reality that policing activities in a democratic society require accountability which is indeed demanded by an increasingly enlightened and diverse citizenry.

“In this regard, it remains the responsibility of Police lawyers to guide investigators in the gathering, preservation and presentation of evidence as well as ensuring respect for the rights of persons who become the subject of police preventive and investigative procedures, be they suspects or witnesses of crime.

“Much as actions have been taken to address the issues underlying civil actions and awards against the Police, there is the need to strengthen our Legal Department both in terms of structure, manpower and processes to position them in addressing this major challenge.”

Source: News Express

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