By Adetokunbo FAKEYE
Nigeria - Four directors of the Police Service Commission, PSC, has just concluded an intensive one week training in accountable Policing oversight and criminal Justice system organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa in conjunction with the African Policing oversight Forum.
The PSC Directors, as confirmed by the Commission spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani joined 81 others from 21 countries to undergo the training where they were acquainted with topical issues such as international and regional human rights standards relevant to Policing and criminal justice system.
The training programme, dividend of the rapid stakeholders advocacy of Dr. Solomon Arase CFR, former Inspector General of Police and Chairman of the Commission immediately after assumption of duty, Ani stated was also to expose the Directors to Democratic Policing and accountability, national oversight and accountability frame -work, use of force, basic guarantees around arrest and detention and effective and non-coercive interviewing and prevention of torture. It also covered exposure on right to life - duty to investigate.
Dr. Arase an internationally acclaimed scholar and consultant was also a facilitator during the training.
He assured the staff of the Commission that this is the beginning of international and national training programmes aimed at repositioning the Commission towards acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills for carrying out critical effective oversight functions.
Dr. Arase promised that similar trainings will be extended to the Police in areas of respect for the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
The PSC Chairman noted that the training will be continuous and extensive and would also involve exchange programmes that will develop the self confidence of the Commission staff and the Police Officers in adhering to international best practices.
Meanwhile, Dr. Aase has commended the National Assembly for finally endorsing a veritable law that has removed the Police from the contributory Pension Scheme like their other colleagues in the Security services.
He said the scheme had impacted negatively to their standard of living and exposed them to several health challenges.
"I commend the retired Officers who were resolute and persistently pursued their interest in a civilised manner. The quick assent to the bill will be an icing on the cake and will assuage the pangs of abject poverty they have been consigned to after a meritorious service of their fatherland where some paid the supreme price to ensure security and Public safety in the country", he said.
The Chairman had earlier on Tuesday, 6th June, continued his stakeholders advocacy shuttle with a visit to the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS at the EU Embassy in Abuja where he appealed for support on the area of Police Reforms, training and retraining of Police Personnel on investigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution in order to mitigate cases of human rights violations and pre-trial detention.
This he noted is to entrench the culture of responsible policing in Nigeria.
He also requested for the support of the Delegation for civilian oversight training for Staff of the Commission.
Responding, the Team Lead of the Delegation, Mr. Ruben Alba Aguiler said the Security Sector Reform is a top priority for the European Union, especially in tackling terrorism and all forms of criminalty in the country adding that the EU will like to be part of the solution, but will like to take a look at the direction of the new administration as it relates to Police and security Sector Reforms.
This he said is to have a clear and precise idea of the area of partnership.
He promised to engage other Development partners to ensure a broader partnership.