Senate Begins Action to Amend Police Act
The Senate has commenced legislative action to completely remove the gender discriminatory provisions in the Police Act.
The bill which passed second reading on Thursday was sponsored by Imo East Senator, Onyewuchi Ezenwa, and seeks to create equal right for police personnel.
In his lead debate, Senator Ezenwa noted that some of the discriminatory provisions mandate female police officers to apply for permission to marry, while the intending fiancé is also investigated for criminal record.
He added that single police women enlisted are expected to spend three years in service before applying for permission to marry.
“There is therefore a need to expunge the above regulations and it is not reasonably justifiable in a democratic state like Nigeria which has domesticated the African charter on human and people’s right” said the Senator Ezenwa.
Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe, Stella Oduah and Rochas Okorocha, who are opposed to the gender discriminatory provisions of the act, threw their weight behind the bill for passage.
Calling for restoration of “dignity” to females, Senator Abaribe said it will also ensure women get equal rights.
He said: “We can amend this laws so that we can give dignity to our female folks and to also ensure that what a man can do, a woman can also do it.”
Senator Rochas further noted that there is need for the country to break away from such “primitive laws.”
“I think it is high time we take the bull by the horn and revisit some of these primitive laws that have kept our nation in bondage of some sort and take a decisive decision to get rid of it.”
“How can you say that a woman should take permission before she gets pregnant? We are 70% of this population, why are we been treated this way?” inquired Senator Stella.
In a remark, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the amendment should not be restricted to just the Police Force but also extended to military and paramilitary agencies.