AN OVERVIEW OF POLICING IN DEMOCRACY AND OBSERVANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Declaration
Certification
Dedication
Acknowledgement
Abstract
Table of Contents
Table of Statutes
Table of Cases
Abbreviations

CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.0       Introduction
1.1       Statement of the Problem
1.2       Scope of the Research
1.3       Objectives of the Research
1.4       Research Methodology
1.5       Literature Review
1.6       Organizational Layout

CHAPTER TWO
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF POLICING
2.1       Policing as a Major Component of Democracy
2.2       Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials
2.2.1    Convention  against  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman  or  Degrading  Treatment  or Punishment
2.2.2    Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearm by Law Enforcement Officials
2.2.3    Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Execution
2.3       Policing as an Instrument of Law and Order
2.4       Operational Standards of Police investigation in Nigeria

CHAPTER THREE
POLICING IN NIGERIA: HISTORY AND RELATED ISSUES
3.1       Historical Overview of the Nigeria Police Force
3.2       Policing Democratic Nigeria: 1999-2014
3.3       Sources of control of the Nigeria Police Force
3.3.1 Constitutional control
3.3.2    Legislative control
3.3.3    Executive control
3.3.4    Operational control
3. 4      Challenges of Policing Democratic Nigeria
3.5       Judicial Attitude to Policing in Nigeria
3.6       Civil Society Groups and Policing in Nigeria

CHAPTER FOUR
ENFORCEMENT, VIOLATIONS AND CHALLENGES OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NIGERIA
4.1       Policing and Human Rights in Nigeria
4.1.1    The Right to Life
4.1.2    Right to Dignity of Human Person
4.1.3    Right to Personal Liberty
4.1.4    Right to Fair Hearing
4.1.5    The Right to Private and family Life
4.1.6    The Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
4.1.7    Right to Freedom of Expression and the Press
4.1.8    Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association
4.1.9    The Right to Freedom of Movement
4.1.10  Right to Freedom from Discrimination
4.1.11  Right to Acquire and Own Immovable Property
4.2       Balancing Constitutional Derogation from Human Rights
4. 2.1   The Need for Balance
4.3       Violation of Fundamental Rights by the Police
4.3.1    Extra-Judicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions
4.3.2    Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
4.3.3    Prison and Detention Centre Conditions
4.3.4    Arbitrary Arrest and Excessive Use of Force

CHAPTER FIVE
CONCLUSION
5.1       Summary
5.2       Observations
5.3       Recommendations
            Bibliography



ABSTRACT

Ever since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999, there appears to be a general consensus that the true tenets of democratic policing and observance of human rights has not been fully realized. Democratic policing emphasized responsive and representative policing, accountability and transparency to the public, preventive and effective in crime control, possessing the requisite education and training as well as professionalism in all respect. All these are sourced from international best practices of what is good policing and given credence by the United Nations and other international instruments. For example, the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials serves as the model for every police organization that seeks to operate in a free democratic society. Here individual rights are guaranteed even though they are not absolute, but the police, in carrying out its duties, try to balance the equation and follow the “rules of engagement” permitted by law and not otherwise. In Nigeria however, our research findings established that the Nigeria Police Force has not completely detached itself from the apron string of bad policing as a result of ever increasing acts of Torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, extra-judicial, summary and arbitrary executions arbitrary arrests, excessive use of force, unhealthy detention centers and other human right violations. Nigeria‟s colonial past and the lacunas of the current Police Act have been identified as the militating factors inhibiting effective democratic policing. These obstacles must therefore be jettison in favour of innovative attributes that can boost democratic policing in Nigeria. For this to be achieved, behavioral, administrative and most importantly, legislative reform initiatives must be put in place. This will in no small measure enhanced and sustain good policing, democracy and the observance of human rights.




CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.0          Introduction

In most countries, it has been accepted that democracy is the only system of government

that seeks to protect individual liberty and guarantee the fundamental rights of all. The pursuit of

these rights is however not absolute as there exist state institutions like the police whose mandate

is to maintain law and order and curtail the citizenry‟s excesses within constitutional means

hence:1

Police power is the exercise of the sovereign right of government to promote order, safety, health, morals, general welfare within constitutional limits and it is an essential attribute of government.‟

Indeed, the police are the outward civil authority of the power and might of a civilized country. The generality of the public is potentially affected one way or another by their action or inaction


What this presupposes is that while democracy allows or guarantees freedom, the police

as an institution policed that freedom and in carrying out this function, they are expected to

operate within existing democratic norms, else the essence of democracy becomes defeated. This

is because the role of police and the existence of these norms remain the standard benchmark in

ascertaining an acceptable democratic system. As a result, most of the policing applications that

are classified as democratic policing practices in an ideal society are designed to ordinarily

promote democratic principles and human rights. In Nigeria however, many dilemma arose

concerning the way and manner the police carry out its statutory responsibilities. Top on the

striking balance of this is the need to respect the inalienable rights of citizens while carrying out

their legitimate duties. These duties ought to be performed within the context of existing rules.....


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