The recommendation to scrap the Ministry of Police Affairs stirs controversy.  By Grace Joe

President Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday, set up a committee to look into report of the Parry Osayande led Presidential Committee on Police Reforms.

The committee, which submitted its report to the president on Monday with a call for the scrapping of the Police Affairs Ministry, also kicked against the creation of State Police.

Speaking with journalists at the State House, the Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, said that the committee is expected to come out with a White Paper on the Osayande report.

Olubolade, who said he is also a member of the committee, said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, will chair the committee. Other members of the committee are Minister of State for FCT and the Minister of Niger Delta.

Speaking on the call for the scrapping of Ministry of Police Affairs, Olubolade said that the Osayande committee in its investigation had gone beyond the assignment given to it. “Usually, when an assignment like this is given, one must look at the subject,” he said. “The subject is to reorganise the police, and any issue discussed outside that can be termed to be a derail.”

Defending the existence of the Ministry of Police Affairs, Olubolade said: “I want to say categorically that it is very easy to look at the situation on ground. We have a Ministry of Defence, comprising of the Army, Navy and Air Force; they all report to the Minister of Defence. All their budgetary provisions go through that line and the political head for them is the Minister of Defence. So also is the Ministry of Police Affairs.

There are budgetary provisions for the police. There is a regular budget and reform budget. Those are the two budgetary provisions for the police. The police award contracts and the ministry approves payment; and in such a manner, they are all involved. The police is involved in its own budgetary dispensation. The ministry does not award contracts on behalf of the police except in capital budgets.”

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