POLICE
By ZO Senbanjo, Esq
Two EVILS beset the NPF and they pronouncedly militate against policing as it ought to be and they will continue to until we push for their elimination and the government accepts to decisively deal with them:

*︎An OVER-BURDENED Police*
There are FOUR LEGS to the criminal justice administration:
~Police
~Lawyers in the A-G
   Chambers, both
   federal and state
~The Judiciary
~Correctional
   service/Prisons
2  Eaxh of this Four only has only ONE assignment except for the NPF with FOUR oppressive roles:
°Arrest
°Detain
°Investigate
°Prosecute
3. Each of the other Three CJA LEGS has only ONE role:
•Lawyers in the A-G Chambers
~ Prosecute
•Judiciary
~ Adjudicate
•Correctional Service/Prisons
~ Custodial centre for convicted felons.
*4. I have said it over and over again that we should stop complaining of an oppressive and corrupt Police because, according to Lord Acton Dalberg, a British historian (1834-1902), “ALL POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY”*
5. I deliberately indicated the age of that time-honoured quote. That tendency is as true in the 19C as it is now.
*6. The second EVIL:*
*︎ Over-centralisation of Police and policing in Nigeria.*
Nigeria is the only Federation I know in the whole world that operates a unitary Police establishment. It has left the NPF over-stretched, over-burdened and overworked. In the scenario of our NPF, the first victim in their operations is EFFICIENCY.
7. Please quote me anywhere, this NPF can neither be efficient nor effective. Its catalogue of errors and misconduct are predictable. We will all have to live with them UNTIL, only until we do the right thing by taking the right steps.
8. State Police and even LGA police is a must! All the money spent on the NPF on COMMUNITY POLICING has turned out as water inside basket – waste pipe!
9. I have deliberately omitted the embarrassing malaise of the non-availability of any consistent and reliable data on the ACTUAL NUMBER of Police officers (rank and file) in Nigeria, as I write! It has always, and continues to remain an aggregate of 400,000. Anyone with further and better particulars should please speak up! I’ll be most grateful to update my “outdated”  records.
10. Of these 400,000, what percentage of them are involved in core Police duties? That’s a huge topic for another day! Suffice it to say, however, that Nigeria would pity the men and women in Nigerian police uniform when they get to know the small number of these officers who are involved in the core Police duty of securing the lives and property of over 200 million people of different nationalities and linguistic/cultural orientations. The only reason we seem to relish the abnormal involvement of the military in internal security is the gross inadequacy of Police personnel. We should endeavour to return to the path of normalcy.
11. The Human Rights Community in Nigeria must put its acts together to OBSTINATELY  demand truly modern policing in a country claiming to be a federation. In this regard, we must demand that Nigeria, without further delay should alter the CFRN 1999 by removing Policing from the EXCLUSIVE list to the CONCURRENT list – or a brand new constitution of a Federal Republic of Nigeria, with truly independent federating units, that can freely run their Police service. Concurrently, we should make the absolute necessity of UNBUNDLING THE POLICE  abundantly clear.
12. The *twin evil* of an overburdened and over-centralized  Police system will continue to hamper good, effective and efficient policing in Nigeria
*ZO Senbanjo, Esq
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