The Nigerian police has responded to a report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics(NBS) alleging that officers of the police and Judges were the most corrupt in the country.
In a statement made available to PoliticsNGR, signed by CSP Jimoh Moshood, the police said;
The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports published on the 16th August 2017 captioned “Police officers, judges most corrupt in Nigeria – NBS (Bribery as experienced by the population)”. The report was claimed to have been based on a survey conducted in April and May 2016 across the Thirty Six (36) States of the Federation and the FCT.
2. The deliberately ill-timed release of the findings from a survey carried out two years ago this week is coming at a time when the Nigeria Police Force has fully keyed into the change mantra of the Federal Government of Nigeria “Change Begins with Me” and total war against corruption. The Force has also established and repositioned the mechanisms of the Force responsible for fighting corruption, bribery and other corrupt tendencies within and outside the Force.
3. The Nigeria Police Force 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.
4. For the avoidance of doubt, since the inception of the present administration of the Nigeria Police Force in July 2016, after the reported survey has been conducted and concluded, the Inspector General of Police has introduced and implemented diverse internal reforms aimed at bringing corruption to zero level in the Force as follows:
i. 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:
(a). We shall police the country based on international core values of policing with integrity
(b). We shall ensure that the rule of law prevails in our actions and activities
(c). We shall respect diversity, display courage, show compassion and demonstrate professionalism
(d). We shall operate within the principles of Democratic policing
(e). We shall shun corruption
(f) We shall make Nigeria safer and secured
II. 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 been reduced and eliminated, instances of unlawful arrests, illegal detentions and inhumane treatments in the police stations across the country that can tempt officers to corruption tendencies.
III. 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 Thirty-Six (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.
IV. 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 relaunched 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 Thirty Six (36) States of the Federation and the FCT last year.
V. Formation and take- off of Eminent Persons Forum across the Thirty Six (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.
5. 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 a change of attitudes and good disposition in the conduct of Police Personnel throughout the country towards abstaining from corruption.
6. However, it must be pointed out that the Nigeria Police Force sees the report as a clear demonstration of mischief and calculated attempt to promote a campaign of calumny against Police Officers. 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 criminalities in the society.
7. The Inspector General of Police, IGP 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 despite the obvious distractions from the report.
8. 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.