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Senate Looks Into Law That Makes Policewoman To Seek Permission Before Marrying

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Nigerian Senate is looking critically at a law which makes it compulsory for policewoman to seek permission before she marries a man her choice.

A bill to amend such Act of 2004, sponsored, Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi (PDP-Imo East), has been presented and has passed second reading today, December 13 at the plenary.
Regulation 123, the sponsor said: “prohibits women Police from drilling under arms; Regulation 124 mandates female Police officers to apply for permission to marry, while the intending fiancé is also investigated for criminal records.

“It also stipulates that a Police woman who is single at the time of enlistment must spend three years in service before applying for permission to marry.”

Senator Onyewuchi said that the bill seeks therefore, to expunge the provisions of regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127 from the principal act, adding that Regulation 122 restricts female Police officers assigned to the General Duties Branch of the Nigeria Police Force to telephone, clerical and office orderly duties.

The lawmaker said that many of the Police regulations, particularly regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127, are overtly discriminatory to female Police officers.He said that the current regulations stated that: “A woman Police officer who is desirous of marrying must apply in writing to the Commissioner of Police for the State Police Command in which she is serving, requesting permission to marry.

“She is to also give the name, address and occupation of the person she intends to marry.”

He explained that there is need to expunge the regulations, as it was not reasonably justifiable in [a] democratic state like Nigeria which had domesticated the African Charter on Human and People Rights.

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Supporting the bill, Senator Istifanus Gyang (PDP-Plateau North) said that the bill is most welcomed, “as it widens the scope of mainstreaming women rights in the country’s statutes.”

He said that exposure to discrimination is one of the factors that was used in rating and ranking the country on the index of best and worst countries for a woman to live in.

“It is good that women’s rights, such as protection from sexual harassment, right to vote and be voted for, and right to hold public office are, today, a reality.

“The quest for gender equality and equity in our clime will be further strengthened by the passage of this bill.”

On his part, Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, said that amending the law would give dignity to the female folk, saying: “t is very strange to find such provisions in the Police Act, which is discriminatory in the sense that the male counterparts don’t have the same restrictions.”

Also, Senator Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra North) urged the senators to give the bill accelerated second reading.

Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi West) said Nigeria is a democratic society and there should not be any provision that makes women to be seen as second-class citizen.

In his remark, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, and asked it to report back to the chamber in four weeks.

Source: NAN

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