24 May 2019

Nigeria: Majority of Nigerians Mistrust Their Police

Abuja — Nigerians have expressed concern at the police killing unarmed civilians, intimidation, unlawful arrests and officers accepting bribes.

These are among illegal police activities disclosed by a public opinion poll across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja.

NOIPOlls conducted the survey among 1 000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above.

Some 57 percent of the respondents disclosed that they are aware of some police illegal activities in their locality. About 83% of those aware of some police illegal activities mentioned the collection of bribes as one of the most common illegal activity of the Nigerian police personnel.

Other illegal activities cited in the poll include arresting innocent Nigerians (42 percent), intimidating innocent Nigerians (41 percent) and killing of unarmed Nigerians (12 percent) among other mentions.

A minority of respondents alleged police solicited sex for bail, arrested sex workers and hired out guns to criminals.

The finding is in line with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report which revealed that among public officials, police officers are the ones to whom bribes are most commonly paid in Nigeria.

Most Nigerians have recommended that the government should improve police welfare to curb some of these illegal activities by some Nigerian police personnel.

Others advised that the Nigeria Police Force should be reformed in line with Police Reform Bill passed by the Senate in April and currently awaiting presidential assent.

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