The Nigerain Police Force is a creation of an Act of parliament,known as THE POLICE ACT. Generally speaking, the Nigerian Police Force has the responsibility for the prevention and detection of crime,the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they aredirectly charged, and are to perform such military duties within or outside Nigeria as may be requiredof them by, or under the authority of the POLICE ACT or any other ACT. (part ii (4) )
THE FORCE is under the command of the inspector General and contingents of THE FORCE stationed in a State are subject to the authority of the Inspector General, under the command of the Commissioner of that State.
Being a creation of the Federal Parliament,the Nigerian Police Force is funded by the Federal Government through its yearly budgetary allocations. In budgeting for THE FORCE,the Federal Government is expected to take into cognisance,the enormity of the responsibilities of thr Nigerian Police and the verse territory of the Country Nigeria. The Federal Government is obligated to adequately provide the Nigerian Police Force with every necessary training, tools, and equipment to enable them carryout their heculiantasks.
The Inspector General is responsible only, to the provisions of the POLICE ACT and the President of Nigeria who doubles as the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. The provisions of the POLICE ACT is, and should be the only authority of THE FORCE in carrying out its constitutionalresponsibilities.
Regrettably, the failure of the Federal Governt in adequately funding the Police Force has left the Police formation in each State of the Federation at the mercy of State Governors,Politicians, Traditional Rulers and rich business men and women for the funding of Police operations in each State.
Every day, you hear on radio and watch on television,Governors, Politicians, Traditional Rulers and rich business men and women procuring and donating to the State Police Command, operational vehicles ,gun boats, communication gadgets, uniforms and most times, arms and ammunitions. Rationally, there should be nothing wrong about this, however, this singular act makes the State Police Command subservient to the Governors, Politicians etc. who funds their operations.
Most criminals and gang members terrorizing the State in Nigeria relatives and “BOYs” of these Governors, politicians, traditional rulers and the rich business men and women. They use them at will to settle personal scores,achieve selfish interest, harass perceived politicalor economic enemies. Whenever these “BOYs” are caught,arrested and detained by the Police for their criminal activities, their godfathers (Governors, Politicians, Traditional Rulers and rich business men) puts calls across to the inspector general of police, commissioner of police or the Divisional Police Officer(DPO), depending on whose desk the matter is ,and the next moment, the criminal is released. The “BOY” having been released as a result of the godfathers call,becomes emboldened and brassenly commit further crimes even before a law enforcement officer. The officer, knowing the fruitlessness in arresting and detaining the criminal, looks the other way while the criminal comits the crime, at best, the officer collects as little cash as he could and goes his way.
In some cases when these criminals are prosecuted in court, the matters are deliberately allowed to linger in court for as long as possible, a time within which the godfathers uses the instrumentality of the justice department to get them off the hook and suddenly, you someone you know, is in detention, being prosecuted, walking free on the streets, intimidating and haunding down those who probably gave information that led to his arrest. With this experience, no one volunteers information to the Police on crimes and criminal activities. Sometimes th e Police who aides these criminals reveals the identities of Police informants to these criminals. These set of Policemen are regularly paid by the criminals.
Henceforth, take a critical look at any former or current Divisional Police Officer(DPO), Commissioner of Police and Inspector General of Police(IGP) that hails from your community or State. They are very wealthy, with so much landed properties spread all over the State Capital in Nigeria. Are their wealth traceable to their salaries and emolument? The answer is NO. All of them are on the payrolls of the State Governors, Politicians, Traditional Rulers and the rich business men and women who uses the POLICE FORCE at will, simply because they fund their operations and pays them what the Federal Government is unable to pay and provide.
HE WHO PAYS THE PIPPER DICTATES THE TUNE. Federal Government, take back your Police Force from State Governors/Politicians and save Nigerian Lives.
By Nngeri Goodhead Goodliffe