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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

House of Reps passes motion to ban police from consuming alcohol

The House of Representatives has called for a ban on police officers from consuming alcohol and other hard substances capable of inhibiting their sense of reasoning.

The resolution was passed during the plenary session on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Babajide Obanikoro, a lawmaker from Lagos.

Adopting the motion, the lawmakers, while agreeing that the Nigerian police act on the general conduct of the police officers should be reviewed, observed a minute of silence for slain Mrs Raheem.

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The lawmakers also condemned the killing of Mrs. Raheem, a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA, who was shot in Lagos by police officers on Christmas day.

Recall that the lawyer was shot dead by a police officer from the Ajiwe police station in Lagos when she and her family were returning home after Christmas service on Sunday.

It was reported that the deceased’s mother said the victim was pregnant with twins.

The shooting has sparked widespread criticism, while the Lagos police command disclosed that Drambi Vandi, the killer cop, is currently in detention.

Leading the debate on the motion, Obanikoro said a similar incident occurred on December 7, when a police officer from the same police station shot one Gafaru Buraimoh.

The lawmaker said, “this type of occurrence happens often across Nigeria and the officers usually get away with shooting and killings of innocent citizens they swore to protect”.

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The motion to restrict officers from drinking while on duty was adopted after it was put to a voice vote by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house.

Following that, the lawmakers demanded that “police officers should be banned from consuming alcohol and other hard substances that are capable of inhibiting their sense of reasoning and capability to carry out their duties judiciously”.

Meanwhile, Police officers are already banned from consuming alcohol and psychotropic substances while on duty.

Section 100 (1) of the Nigeria Police Act 2021 states that: “While on duty, a police officer shall not take any intoxicating liquor, psychotropic substances, or stimulants, where he does, he shall be punished in accordance with the police disciplinary procedures.”

The law also prohibits individuals from offering police officers alcohol while on duty.

Section 100 (2) states that: “(a) A person who: knowingly harbours or entertains or either directly or indirectly gives any intoxicating liquor, psychotropic substances or stimulants to any police officer while on duty or permits any such police officer to abide or remain in his house unlawfully; except in cases of extreme urgency.

“(b) By threats or by offer or money, gift, spirits, liquors, psychotropic substances or stimulants induces or attempts to induce any police officer to commit a breach of his duty as a police officer or to omit any part of such duty, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of at least N50,000.”

However, despite the provisions of the law, there have been several instances where police officers were caught taking alcohol while on duty.

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