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THE NEED TO MAKE NIGERIA POLICE A LESS ARMS BEARING SECURITY INSTITUTION : LEGAL AND SOCIETAL PERSPECTIVE -UNITED KINGDOM AS A CASE STUDY

It will interest you to know that vast majority of UK POLICE DON’T CARRY GUNS and yet more than 90 PERCENT  of the capital’s police officers carry out their daily duties without gun. Most rely on other tools to keep their city safe: canisters of mace, handcuffs, batons and occasionally stun-guns.
The Metropolitan Police, which covers most of London, was founded in 1829 on the principle of “POLICING BY CONSENT” rather than by FORCE.
The Nigerian police has an image that is far less than sterling. That unflattering image has been accentuated by the misadventures of the men and officers of the force in the last few weeks of Covid__19 lockdown infact these police officers has killed more Nigerians than Coronavirus (12deaths as at yesterday NCDC report) amnesty is reporting 16 killed in the last few weeks by rogue officers 
Just in Nigeria  Giving everyday police officers guns sends the wrong message and it has been causing alot of more problems than it solves, trigger-happy police officers killing citizens with reckless abandon infact the list of police killings is endless!
In UK study has shown that ” majority of the citizens don’t want to  live in a police state” According to BBC survey though Some of these gun-wielding officers patrol the city in pairs, others are members of crack response teams — units dressed in body-armor, helmets and carrying long rifles — who are called to the scene of violent incidents like these,In most instances, they don’t use their weapons.
It is Shocking that In the year up to March 2016, police in England and Wales only fired seven bullets. (Although these government figures do not include accidental shots, shooting out tires, or killing dangerous or injured animals survey has shown.
These officers fatally shot just five people during that period, according to British charity Inquest, which helps families after police-related deaths.
According to Nigerian Police Force Order 237, an officer is permitted to ‘shoot’ suspects and detainees who attempt to escape or avoid arrest, and according to Nigeria criminal law, it is unlawful to kill any person unless such killing is authorised, justified or excused by law.
Section 315 of the Criminal Code provides that any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of an offense which is called murder or manslaughter, according to the circumstances of the case.
If found guilty, under the Criminal Code, any person who commits the offence of murder shall be sentenced to death by a court of law.
On the contrary, of several trials of police killings, the highest punishment has been a dismissal from the force while victims are arraigned in court while few are being convicted 
According to BBC news In August, when a teenager suffering an episode of paranoid schizophrenia killed an American tourist in a busy London street, armed police rushed to the scene but not a single bullet was fired but contrast this with Nigeria scenario small issue between them and citizens they have started cocking their guns, they were able to subdue the attacker, Zakaria Bulhan, using a stun-gun. And no one else, bar 64-year-old American Darlene Horton, who had already been stabbed to death, was hurt.
The Metropolitan Police UK carried out some 3,300 deployments involving firearms in 2016. They didn’t fire a single shot at a suspect but It’s a world away from the United States, where cops killed 1,092 people in 2016, according to figures compiled by The Guardian coming back to Nigeria according to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability project (SERAP) in every 5 police deployment 1  citizen is killed this is so bad! 
Some may Of course argue  it’s easier for police to remain unarmed if civilians do the same. Out of every 100 people in Britain, fewer than four of them owns a firearm, according to GunPolicy.org, a project run by Australia’s University of Sydney. In the U.S. there is more than one gun per person…Some may also argue that our level of intelligence gathering and development is below to theirs but I say it without iota of doubt that upon we have more fun wielding police force in Nigeria yet more crimes are recorded than in Britain so it’s not just about guns it’s about the needs for Serious institutional police Reforms and Orientation, while British officials have long since accepted that an attack is “highly likely,” they believe that intelligence-gathering and stronger links with the community — rather than gun-toting cops — will do more to keep the city safer this is what is needed in Nigeria not arming Every police man gun without even conducting psychological evaluation on him or her.
While shootings involving police are relatively common in the U.S., authorities in Britain say they review each one with painstaking diligence.Every time a British police officer shoots and injures or kills someone, it is automatically referred to an separate watchdog called the Independent Police Complaints Commission, or IPCC, Amnesty International has also alleged that Police Service Commission, which is responsible for police discipline, routinely refers all extrajudicial police killings to the police for investigation, and the Commission’s quarterly reports to the President are not published and unattended to, comparing it to UK where Some police commission have complained that officers are reluctant to sign up for firearms training because they fear being dragged through years of lengthy investigations in the unlikely event they have to use their weapon that is show in this country there is a heavy duty of care imposed on this officers to carrying weapons to thread carefully but here once you graduate from Police academy you’re given a gun.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In a free and democratic society, there is going to be a balance between democracy, freedom and openness, and a police state — and none of us want to live in a police state,” said Brian Dillon a former Security expert of UK fire arms commission; 
Inorder to curtail this trend of incessant police killings recourse should be made to institutional reforms vis a vis 50% de-arming of Nigerian Police officers for a start  to curtail this extra judicial killings 
It is important for the Nigeria Police Force to design a mechanism through which human and technological inputs can be effectively combined to strengthen the organisation’s intelligence-gathering capacity. This will go a long way in stemming the problem of police homicide in the country. Intelligence is a key element in modern strategies to curb and control crime just like UK employs.
Also, the Federal Government of Nigeria needs to improve the working conditions of officers of the Nigeria Police Force by making adequate funds available to the organisation. Similarly, necessary logical and strategic supports that can promote results-oriented policing should be provided for the agency. An adequate supply of essential facilities like functional vehicles and helicopters, bullet-proof vests and communication gadgets, among others, will definitely improve police performance, thereby reducing cases of police homicide.
Furthermore, the Nigeria Police Force should strive to purge itself of its ‘rotten apples’ by conducting rigorous background checks on its officials and potential recruits, to reduce the incidence of saboteurs within the organisation. 
About the author
UFELE CHINONSO DLAW  is a law graduate and a student at the NLS lagos campus. He is a social, legal and political Analyst.
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3 thoughts on “THE NEED TO MAKE NIGERIA POLICE A LESS ARMS BEARING SECURITY INSTITUTION : LEGAL AND SOCIETAL PERSPECTIVE -UNITED KINGDOM AS A CASE STUDY

  1. Although there are instances where the right of a person may be deprived him, it is also the law that other necessary preconditions have been met and that to take such persons life is the remaining option.

    The arbitrary use of force and arms by men of the armed forces is the main crux condemned in the article.

    Thank you Matthew for your observations and comments

  2. I enjoyed this. Kudos. I have a question though. How do we reconcile your recommendation with the provisions of our Almighty and Supreme Constitution in S. 33(2)(b$c),1999 CFRN that provides that the police can use reasonable force in suppressing a riot and preventing lawful arrests and thereby, taking the lives of citizens by 'force'as their name implies (police force)
    Thanks as I await your response

  3. I really enjoyed this. Kudos. I have a question though. How do we reconcile your recommendation with the provisions of the Almighty and Supreme constitution in S. 33(2)(b$c) that provides that the lives of citizens can be lawfully taken by the police when they attempt to prevent lawful arrests or even to prevent insurrection?
    Thanks as I await your response .

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