The Problem Statement
The Nigeria Police is charged with the control of the maintenance of law and order. It also protects, prevents and investigates criminal activities in the discharge of their duties.
The Police Force has over the years changed. The morality of certain inborn problems and challenges weakens the force.
Some of these problems relate to the abuse of fundamental human rights, collection of bribes, corruption in the force, lack of emotional intelligence which leads to reckless shooting of suspects and fellow policemen, illiteracy and inability of certain police officers to illegally mount roadblocks.
Finally, research has been carried out on the role of Nigeria Police in the conduct of justice, issues and challenges, but not even a single research has been carried out on recognized challenges faced by the Nigeria Police Force in crime in Nigeria.
The ACT Solution
The Nigerian Government and the police leadership have on several times acknowledged many of the problems described in the Nigeria Police Force.
In recent years, the Government has launched several police reform initiatives, increased funding to the police force, and improved police wages.
Yet the Government has generally failed to hold accountable police officers who squander and steal police funds, much less the rank and file who commit abuses.
Public complaint systems, internal police controls, and civilian oversight remain weak, underfunded, and largely ineffective.
The Nigerian Government in general and the police leadership must address the structural problems and follow through on reform initiatives and implement effective police oversight and accountability by objectively to Streamline and prioritize internal control systems by setting up a Public Complaints Units at each police station.
The unit should include a human rights officer, an anti-corruption officer and an officer responsible for service delivery complaints.
This personnel should be assigned and empowered with the full duties to
(i) Receive and investigate complaints against the police officers filed by members of the public
(ii) Monitor the conditions and treatment of persons held in police custody
(iii) Collaborate with the community leaders and civil society organizations regarding incidents of police abuse within the community
(iv) Report incidents of police abuse, including extortion and bribery to a divisional police officer and appropriate internal and external oversight bodies
(v) Protect members of the public who file complaints or any other form of counterattack.
NIGAC Constructive Position/Take
The Nigeria Police have to take proactive and more citizen-centric measures in ensuring they protect the Nigerian people and the environment.
We recommend that the freedom of information Bill be passed to give Nigerians the legal right to compel the Nigeria Police Force and other Government institutions to release information such as Government budgets, expenditure reports and financial audits.
Leverage on digital technology to improve transparency and accountability in the Nigeria Police Force system where citizens can report and access quick information on the go and also rate and measure their efficiency and effectiveness.
Hold regular public hearings into the conduct of the Nigeria Police Force in respective police affairs committees starting from the Local Government Areas with community stakeholders, along with committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate.