The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday outlined the requirements of officers to be trained in the new police tactical team to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad. He said the training of officers for the Special Weapons and Tactics team would commence on Monday, October 19, 2020. The IGP noted that no ex-SARS operatives were shortlisted in the SWAT team. Adamu also explained that “the officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven (7) years working experience with clean service records – no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations. “The selected officers shall be subjected to a physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening etc and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged.” He added that to ensure adequate training and screening of SWAT operatives, the Nigeria Police Force has partnered the International Committee of the Red Cross and other development partners for the training. He said the ICRC “will handle topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situations, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention amongst others. “Other areas of the training program will include modern-day police ethics and values, intelligence-led policing, operation planning/tactical decision-making processes, hostage rescue tactics and operation, weapon handling, first aid/basic life-saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence etc.

The Nigerian Army says its upcoming Operation Crocodile Smile will tackle cyber warfare and insurgency in the country, particularly in the North-East, where Boko Haram insurgents continue to maintain a significant operational presence. In a statement, the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, said this year’s Operation Crocodile Smile would hold between 20 October and 31 December. The statement read, “The exercise is deliberately intended to be all-encompassing and will include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda on social media and across cyberspace. This is the first-ever cyber warfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the armed forces. “Accordingly, the exercise will also include a positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North-East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations, especially in the North-East, North Central and North West.” Musa said the army was committed to the sustenance of peace and security in the country and asked members of the public for support throughout the period of the exercise.

The Federal Government may lose some of its powers to states of the federation, including its exclusive control of the power sector, railway, among others, with the ongoing review of the Constitution by the National Assembly. The House of Representatives is considering devolution of power from the central government to the states through some bills seeking to move items from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List. Three bills sponsored by Mr Babajimi Benson at the House passed the first reading. The first bill particularly seeks to amend Second Schedule in Part 11 of the Constitution especially Items 13 and 14 to allow public and private entities to be involved in “generation, transmission and distribution of electricity within the state or from the state to any other state with the consent of the state governments concerned.” Another bill also seeks to alter the Second Schedule of the Constitution “to provide that the Federal Government and the state governments shall have Concurrent Legislative Authority with respect to railway and matters related thereto.” The third bill seeks to alter section 315(5)(d) of the Constitution “to remove the Land Use Act from the Acts listed in the section in order to make the amendment of the Act flexible and similar to other Acts of the National Assembly.” Benson, who is Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, linked the ongoing nationwide protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force to the fault in the governance structure of the country. The House had on Thursday inaugurated its Special Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. The Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the House Committee on Constitution Review, Ahmed Wase, who disclosed that the panel had received over 15 bills, said they border on the restructuring of governance structure, decentralisation of the current policing system, autonomy for local governments and the judiciary, among others.

Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razek, the former head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court was elected speaker of the country’s new Senate. Abdel-Razek, 73, won unopposed as he was the only one who ran for the office. He will be chairman of the Senate for five years. Abdel-Razek received 287 out of 300 votes. A five-member committee led by Sameh Ashour, the former head of the Syndicate of Lawyers and an appointed senator, supervised the election of Abdel-Razek in a secret ballot. Abdel-Razek was head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court from 2016 to 2018. When he was a member of the court’s panel of commissioners, he voted in favour of dissolving the 2012 parliament, widely known as the parliament of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. During this period, the court issued rulings in favour of invalidating the amendment of the exercise of the political rights law, which was approved by the Brotherhood-dominated parliament in 2012 to politically disenfranchise officials of former president Hosni Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). Abdel-Razek was also a member of the Presidential Election Committee that supervised the 2014 presidential election, which was swept up by Egyptian President El-Sisi. The Senate, an advisory council, will be consulted on constitutional amendments, laws, and development plans.