The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, NOPRIN, has called on the federal government to address the near total lack of capacity for criminal investigations in the force without recourse to torture, extrajudicial killing, extortion and other forms of third degree policing.
The Network also raised concerns over serious fundamental abuse of citizens by the Police despite calls and protests by Civil Society Organisations and the general public for reforms.
At the public presentation of a book, “Groaning in pains; The Effect Of Bad Policing On Nigerians” By the Network in Lagos at the weekend, Chairperson, Coordinating Committee of NOPRIN Foundation, Saviour Akpani, noted that since the country returned to democratic administration, nothing much has changed about police administration.
Akpan, stated that the new slogan of the Police, “To Police With Integrity” has neither created a paradigm shift in the old ways the force is known for nor enthrone positive enforcement that will make citizens have confidence in the force
“Governments efforts in reassuring the citizenry that there is hope of a better policing of their constitutionally guaranteed human rights in 2005 during the extrajudicial murder of the six Igbo traders (Apo Six) unfortunately was short-lived. Nigerians across the country continue to be abused by the very people who are supposed to protect them” said Akpan in his speech at the event.
He said the NOPRIN as a coalition has continued to engage government and thedifferent agencies responsible to protecting citizens rights and access to justice where there is perceived infractions to ensure that perpetrators of any form of inhuman or degrading treatment of Nigerians are properly addressed and the outcome of such not swept under the carpet.
According to him, Also although several efforts have been made to bring to justice perpetrators of different forms of inhuman and or degrading treatment of the citizens especially with the Police force much is still desired in terms of adequate welfare for the Police officers so as to reduce the degree and quantum of aggression transferred by these policemen especially the ranks and file on the innocent members, community leaders involvement in identification and recommendation of their subject for recruitment into the force to reduce the high level of influx of people with questionable characters entering the force.