Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot single-handedly approve establishment of State and Local Government Areas police.

In a brief statement in reaction to the recommendation of the Presidential panel on SARS reform, Falana declared that the issue of establishing state police is a constitutional matter.

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He said President Buhari cannot decide on it without going through the National Assembly for amendment of the Constitution, whatever decision unilaterally made by Buhari would not work.

“Issue of state police is a constitutional one; there must be an amendment of the constitution in order for the president to approve the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission.

“The president cannot single-handedly give approval for the establishment of state police,” he said.

Recall that the Presidency on Monday said President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved the formation of state police structures as being reported by some newspapers.

A statement signed by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said President Buhari Monday rather received a report on the reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

It said the president requested that the report be studied and a white paper produced within three months.

”President Buhari’s specific directive is that a three-man panel is set up to produce the white paper.

”The report of the white paper committee will form the basis of the decisions of the government on the many recommendations, including the setting up of state and local government police made by the Ojukwu panel.

”Until a white paper is produced, it will be premature and pre-emptive to suggest that the recommendations contained in the report have been approved by the President in part or whole,” the release said.

The debate over the creation of state police has heightened in recent months with the rising insecurity across parts of the nation.