Police Brutality in Nigeria

Prior to the emergence of the #EndSARS movement, several complaints have been made against the brutality and the excessive use of force by the supposedly law enforcement agency according to the  Police Complaints Response Unit (CRU).

This is even as the Complaint Response Unit released two damning reports about the violations of the rules committed by the police, showing that 3,398 complaints were received between January 2019 and June 2020.

The reports, signed byAssistant Commissioner Markus Ishaku Basiran, did not, however, indicatewhether the breaches were committed by operatives of the defunct #EndSARS.

But the reports were worrisome enough, as they showed that 1,237 infractions committed in 6 months this year, were more than 50 percent of the 2,161 total recorded for the whole of 2019.

The geographical distribution of the infractions may also explain why the #EndSARS campaign has not gained much traction in the northern part of the country.
The report showed that the police were more bestial in the southern states than in the north.

For instance, out of the91 cases of excessive use of force filed against the police in 2019, 25 of themwere reported in Lagos. Eight cases were filed in FCT Abuja and seven each inRivers and Edo states.

Delta reported four cases, Ogun, Ondo, and Niger reported three cases each.
Also in 2019, out of 414 cases of police corruption, in which police illegally demanded money for bail, 90 of the cases were reported in Lagos.

Rivers logged 82 cases, Delta 24 and Anambra 26.a
The police top command a long time ago, made the rule that bail is free.
In many police stations, this rule is always announced in bold posters, informing the members of the public that they do not need to pay for bail.

Also in the report for 2019, hefty 1,487 cases were classified as ‘professional misconduct’. Although the report did not expatiate on the particulars of misconduct, Lagos again recorded the highest at 356.

It is followed by Enugu with 250 cases, Rivers 116 cases, Delta 75, and Anambra 76.
The Police CRU, which has ‘no to impunity’ as its motto, said 1,621 of the cases were resolved, without expatiating.

It also said 324 of themare pending, while 216 were found to be false accusations.
In the first half of this year, 48 cases of excessive force were also reported.
Lagos had 11 cases, the highest.

FCT Abuja logged sevencases, Akwa Ibom five, Rivers and Anambra are tied at three cases. By June, 959cases of professional misconduct have been levelled against the NigerianPolice.

Lagos reported 262, FCT Abuja 145, Delta 65, Rivers 61.
Ogun logged 55 of the cases, Edo 48, Oyo 31, Imo 35, Anambra 38.
On complaints about receiving money for bail, Lagos led with 35 cases, Rivers 22, Imo 10, Enugu 10, and Delta 16.

According to the report, 62 of the complaints against the police in the first half-year were found to be false. It said 186 cases were still pending. The police set up the CRU in 2015. It has now become an integral part of the police establishment, recognised in the new Police Act signed by President Buhari this year.