CRIME AND POLICING IN NIGERIA: Challenges and Options
Increase in violent crime and delinquency, has become a common feature of countries in transition. The literature has attributed this development to the uncontrollable nature of change in its formative stage, demobilization or dismantling of repressive security apparatuses used by previous authoritarian regimes in controlling crime and the unequal socio-economic opportunities brought about by economic liberalization programs (Shaw, 2001; Shearing & Kempa 2001).
Nigerian experience has not been different! The first four years of transitional democracy in the country witnessed perceived and real increase in violent crime and disorder, so much so that safety and security issues ranked very high among citizens priority concerns. Public commentary on police performance in crime prevention and crime control was adverse. However, the comments dwelt very little on solutions to the crime problems and focused heavily on police deprecation.
In response to this situation, The NGO Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force and support from the MacArthur Foundation, organized a well attended four-day National Summit on Crime and Policing in Nigeria, at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers, from April 26-29, 2004. Read more
This report was produced jointly by the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) and the Open Society Justice Initiative. This report would not have been possible without the countless hours spent by NOPRIN researchers documenting stories of torture, abuse, and extrajudicial killings at the hands of the Nigeria Police Force, and—most importantly—the bravery of victims and their family members in sharing their experiences. Steve Aborishade, Saka Azimazi, Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Green Eloagu, Uchenna Emelonye, Mashood Erubami, Nasiru Kura, Andy Nkemneme, Okey Nwanguma, Anthony Okwuosah, Basil Ugochukwu, Damian Ugwu, Lydia Umar, and Mohammed Wuyo facilitated the primary research. Vivian Azubike, Emmanuela Nwabueze, and Eyo Nsah complemented the findings from the field with secondary research. Emeka Nwanevu at NOPRIN’s Secretariat administered the project. Lydia Umar and Innocent Chukwuma provided general supervision and strategic guidance to the project at all phases, including the research… Read more
INTRODUCING THE CRIMINAL FORCE
The Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) recently conducted three activities aimed to address the rampant and continuing incidences of police abuse in Nigeria. From 2006 to 2007, NOPRIN conducted a national action research on ‘Patterns and Prevalence of Police Abuse in Nigeria’ and published its findings in a book entitled ‘Criminal Force?’ NOPRIN held a public tribunal on Police abuses in Nigeria in Abuja in October 2008 during which victims of police abuse interviewed during the research testified. NOPRIN plans to follow up on the testimonies with a view to ensuring that they attain adequate justice.
NOPRIN carried out these activities in realization that police abuses have persisted despite the efforts and resources applied by government, civil society and international partners to reform the Nigeria Police Force since the advent of electoral politics in 1999. The Nigerian police remain largely abusive, corrupt, unaccountable, and operationally incapable. Reports from victims of police abuse, and from the media, local and international non governmental organizations as well as intergovernmental organizations expose the prevalence of police abuses such as police brutality, torture, arbitrary detention, hostage taking, extra judicial killings, and sundry acts of misconduct such as extortion in public highways and at police stations etc. Read more
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE MEDIA
This publication is the outcome of two years of monitoring and documenting selected newspapers reports on the Nigeria Police. It is divided into two halves of two parts. Part one contains reports for 2010 while Part two contains reports for 2011. Each part is subdivided into sections dealing with various themes including human rights abuses by the police, such as extrajudicial killings, police brutality and torture, excessive use of force, rape and sexual violence. Other themes include corruption, extortion and bribe taking; stealing, collusion with criminals and other acts of misconduct; funding, equipment, welfare and the unacceptably high casualty rate among police officers in their effort to combat crime. Read more
WAITING FOR JUSTICE
This report contains an Introduction which gives an overview of the regional Public Tribunals. There are 7 sections. Section 1 contains ‘Some Excerpts’ from the report and ‘General Recommendations’ for reform of the Nigerian Police. Sections 2 – 6 contain the Communiqués and edited versions of the Rapporteurs’ reports on the public tribunal for Abuja, 2010; Owerri, 2010; Akure, 2010; Calabar, 2011 and Kaduna, 2011. Section 7 contains Appendices, including the Summary report of NOPRIN’s maiden public tribunal in Abuja in 2008; Keynote Addresses by the Federal Attorney General at the Public Tribunal in 2008 and by the State Attorneys-General of Cross River and Kaduna in, as well as some newspaper reports on the tribunal in the various zones.
The ‘Foreward’ to this publication has been written by Z. Olukayode Senbanjo, Esq., Executive Director, Confluence of Rights (CoR), Nigeria; Formerly, Director and Head, Legal Services and Protection, National Human Rights Commission (2000-2010). Read more
CIVIL SOCIETY PANEL ON POLICE REFORM IN NIGERIA 2012
Official debates about police reform in Nigeria and committees established by successive governments to facilitate such discussions and recommendations of measures for implementation have mostly been dominated by people with a security background who view such assignments as their exclusive preserve. As a result, their reports have often focussed on increasing policing capacity in the areas of personnel strength, materials for work and welfare; as though once these are right, the NPF will be super effective and efficient. While not belittling the significant difference a properly resourced NPF can make in addressing the safety and security challenges currently. Read more