The Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris has declared the reports of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and that of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published on the 16th August 2017 captioned “Police officers, judges most corrupt in Nigeria”, as misleading and a clear misrepresentation of facts.
According to a statement issued on Friday by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood, the report which does not capture the true situation of things in the Nigeria Police Force was coming at a time when the Force had fully keyed into the change mantra of the Federal Government of Nigeria “Change Begins with Me” and total war against corruption.
The NBS in its report on “Bribery as experienced by the population” which was based on a survey conducted in April and May, 2016 across the Thirty Six (36) States of the Federation and the FCT had revealed that the highest incidents of bribery occurred during encounters with the police.
In the statement, the Force maintained, the Nigeria Police officers are not corrupt as alleged, saying the Force had established and repositioned the mechanisms of responsible for fighting corruption, bribery and other corrupt tendencies within and outside the Force.
CSP Moshood who spoke for the Force said, ” The Nigeria Police after a careful study of the report, wishes to state categorically that the report is entirely misleading, a clear misrepresentation of facts, essentially based on hearsays which made it unempirical, and the survey instrument absolutely inadequate and therefore a plain distortion of the improved situation in the Force as a result of the renewed commitment and determination to fight corruption, bribery and corrupt tendencies in the ranks of the personnel of the Force.”
He also revealed that since the inception of the present administration of the Nigeria Police Force in July 2016, after the reported survey had been conducted and concluded, the Inspector General of Police had introduced and implemented diverse internal reforms aimed at bringing corruption to zero level in the Force.
“To ensure that Police Officers operate within the principle of the rule of law and respect the rights of Nigerians while performing their constitutional duties of protecting lives and property and to abhor corruption, the Police formulated a new set of directive principles titled “Our Creed” to reposition the minds and hearts of every Police officer and launched with the following doctrines:
“We shall police the country based on international core values of policing with integrity, ensure that the rule of law prevails in our actions and activities, respect diversity, display courage, show compassion and demonstrate professionalism, operate within the principles of Democratic policing, shun corruption and make Nigeria safer and secured.”
The Spokesperson also said that several trainings were also been organised to ensure officers perform their responsibilities in line with international best practices.
He speaks further, “Similarly, to further make police officers imbibe a culture where the rule of law forms the bedrock of our actions and activities, and give the fight against corruption the bite and new impetus, this administration has commenced the training of officers on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
“The Act is considered an important legislation because of its innovative provisions, and every Police Officer has been enjoined to follow strictly the provisions of the Act. This will to a very large extent has reduced and eliminate, instances of unlawful arrests, illegal detentions and inhuman treatments in the police stations across the country that can tempt officers to corruption tendencies.
“Also, the X-Squad Unit of the Force responsible for the arrest, detention, investigation and prosecution of any officer found wanting and culpable of corruption, bribery or corrupt tendencies has been reinvigorated, equipped and its personnel retrained with detachments in all the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to deal decisively with corruption allegations made against police officers to eliminate corruption in the Force.
“The Re-launch of Complaint Response Unit (CRU) to a more broadened Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) was carried out by the current Police Management Team to facilitate dynamism and to promptly address complaints against officers of the Force bothering on corruption. This unit is responsible for receiving and attending to reports of corruption from members of the public against Police officers, it was re-launched by the Inspector General of Police in Abuja in late 2016 and subsequently launched simultaneously by Commissioners of Police in all the Commands of the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT last year.
“Formation and take- off of Eminent Persons Forum across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT to create public enlightenment campaign against corruption within the Force and inform the Public of the free and unhindered access to the Nigeria Police Force to report complaints of corruption against Police Officers.
“The Nigeria Police Force has been working with critical stakeholders in the Criminal Justice System in the country’ and other local and International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) including International Human Rights Organizations to train and re-train Police Personnel to conform to international best practices to shun and detest corruption, bribery and corruption tendencies. This has engendered change of attitudes and good disposition in the conduct of Police Personnel throughout the country towards abstaining from corruption.
However, CSP Moshood stated that the Force sees the report as a clear demonstration of mischief and calculated attempt to promote campaign of calumny against Police Officers.
He noted that nowhere in the report were references made to either the improved transparency in the Nigeria Police Force or the sustained daily sacrifice being made by gallant officers and men of the Force in confronting criminality in the society.
He reteriated that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni wishes to reassure Nigerians and the International Community that the Nigeria Police Force will continue to fight, discourage and shun corruption, bribery and corrupt tendencies within and outside the Force, and continue to discharge its statutory responsibilities according to the rule of law and based on the International core values Of policing with integrity despite the obvious distractions from the report.
In his words, “The renewed determination of the Force to adhere to International Police Reforms and conform to standard principles, building trust and confidence in the citizenry and above all comply and support the Federal Government War Against Corruption remained unequivocal and unwavering.”