Nigerians Shot Dead for Refusal to Pay Bribes

Lagos — The recent killing of a teenage girl (aged 18) caught in the crossfire between police and suspected kidnappers as well as the alleged fatal shooting of a cyclist and man who refused to pay bribes have brought to the fore police brutality in Nigeria.

All three incidents occurred in the commercial state of Lagos.

A subsequent national poll has revealed 77 percent of respondents stated that the issue of police brutality in Nigeria is prevalent.

In addition, 40 percent of respondents specified that they have either been or know someone who has been recently brutalized by police personnel.

Respondents cited inadequate training of police personnel, corruption and lack of experience as the reasons for brutality.

"Therefore, there is a need for far-reaching measures to curb the menace," stated NOIPolls, which carried out the survey.

The increase in the case of police brutality has led to intense pressure from the public to reform the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The Senate has passed the Police Reform Bill for presidential assent.

A notable feature of the bill is its provision of an internal disciplinary mechanism for any police officer that maltreats or kills an innocent citizen.

Previous surveys have concluded that the Nigeria Police Force is the most corrupt government institution in the African continent.

Earlier this month, it was alleged some officers raped commercial sex workers during a raid on a night spot in the capital Abuja.

The force had since commenced internal investigations.

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