NEC Proposes Psychiatric Evaluation, Drug Tests For Police, Army Before Enlistment

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PIC.21. POLICEMEN FROM SPECIAL PROTECTION UNIT BEING DEPLOYED AS SECURITY FOR INEC SENSITIVE MATERIALS FOR SUPPLEMENTARY KOGI GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION AT THE DISTRIBUTION CENTRE IN LOKOJA ON THURSDAY (3/12/15). 7449/3/12/2015/BJO/CH/NAN

The National Economic Council has recommended psychiatric evaluation and drug tests for those seeking to be enlisted into various security agencies, especially the arms-bearing outfits.

This formed part of the resolutions at the council’s meeting chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday. The meeting received reports from judicial panels regarding the #EndSARS protests in parts of the country.

“Persons recruited into arms-bearing security agencies (should) undergo psychiatric evaluations and drug tests before enlistment, and periodically after enlistment to ensure that the personnel are psychologically fit to carry live weapons and to identify behavioural tendencies that may require psycho-social interventions,” it said.

“Personnel of the agencies (should) dutifully observe Rules of Engagement in the discharge of their functions/duties around and within the civilian populace.”

The council, at the meeting, discussed how to improve the efficiency of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies’ architecture, among other issues.

It stated that the Federal Government was already making effort to strengthen police accountability through the Police Service Commission and sustain improved funding and budgetary allocation to the police and other securities agencies.

NEC asked the Federal Government to give priority to the general welfare of police officers and personnel of other security agencies.

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In particular, it advocated the review of pension and gratuity of retired police officers and attainment of parity of remuneration by police officers with sister security agencies.

The council asked the government to undertake a comprehensive assessment of all police stations across the country with a view to ensuring that they were fit for purpose.

It called on the security agencies to deploy cutting-edge technology in the fight against crimes and specifically asked the police to prioritise the training of personnel on procedures for the entrenchment of human rights provisions and on the professional handling of weapons.

Similarly, states authorities were asked to properly utilise and support the community policing programme of the Federal Government, with active collaborative efforts and participation of traditional rulers, elders, youths, and vigilante groups.

NEC advised them to establish standing committees under their ministries of justice to address human rights violations on a continuous basis, as well as take measures aimed at flushing out miscreants squatting in uncompleted buildings and other blackout spots that serve as hideouts for criminals.

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