CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation on Tuesday launched post ENDSARS research report and trained Police oversight agencies on accountability and human rights in Abuja.
The training/launching tagged “TRAINING OF POLICE OVERSIGHT AGENCIES ON STRENGTHEN OVERSIGHT MECHANISMS ON ACCOUNTABILITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS/LAUNCH OF THE POST ENDSARS RESEARCH REPORT” was held at Bolton White Hotel, Garki, Abuja.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director of CLEEN, Mr. Gad Peter welcomed and enjoyed participants drawn from Ministry of Police Affairs, Nigerian Police Force, Police Service Commission, Ministry of Justice, National Assembly, Police Reform Transformation Office, Presidential Working Group on Police Reform and National Human Right Commission to make use of lessons to be learnt as 2023 general elections are fast approaching.
Declaring the programme open, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, while commending CLEEN Foundation for its outstanding role in Nigeria Police Reform, said President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal government has fully implemented the demand of ENDSARS protesters.
TheCEO recalls that ENDSARS protesters had demanded immediate release of all arrested protesters; justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensations for their families; setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reported police misconduct within a period of 10 days; carrying out psychological evaluation and retaining of all disbanded SARS operatives before they can deployed (this should be verified by an independent body), and that the government should increase police salary and they should adequately compensated for protecting lives and property of the citizens.
The Minister said he was confident that similar capacity-building training organised by critical stakeholders like CLEEN will help to set a new record of police professionalism in the 2023 general election.
Dingyadi said President Buhari is in free and fair general election and charge the Police to observe international standard of policing during and after the elections.
Also delivering her goodwill message, Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC), Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (Retd) highlighted the statutory roles of the PSC and said she looked forward to seeing better conduct of the Police in 2023 general elections. She thanked CLEEN Foundation for organising such timely training for the police oversight agencies.
Unveiling the post ENDSARS research report, Chairman CLEEN Board of Directors, Prof. Etannibi Alemika said “with support from the MacArthur Foundation, CLEEN Foundation undertook research on reforms of the police that have been undertaken to address the concerns of citizens and especially demands of ENDSARS protesters.”
He stated that the aim of the research were, “To undertake an audit of government initiatives towards reforming the police and the changes in the practices of the police in serving the public since the end of the ENDSARS protest in 2020; and to provide relevant information for policymakers and the public for the reform of the country’s police to a right-based and service-focused law enforcement agency.”
See the research findings, conclusions and recommendations below:
- Majority (41%%) of the respondents were of the opinion that the ENDSARS protest was due to police brutality while others (17%) believed that the protests resulted from accumulated anger against the government.
- Majority (52%) of the respondents were of the opinion that the government did not handle the protests in a professional manner.
- The media played a huge role in the propagation of the protests and more than half of the participants in the study were of the opinion that the media would be very useful in promoting police reforms.
- Most (74%) of the participants reported that the quality of policing had not significantly improved after the protests as there were still reports of human rights violations by the police.
- More than half of the participants especially the youths were of the opinion that the protests elicited some form of consciousness among the youths and this could be harnessed to enhance more participation in governance, especially in the demand for accountability.
- Respondents were asked to appraise the provision of security by the government. More than half of respondents rated the local, state and federal governments’ efforts at addressing crime and insecurity in the state as poor.
- Specifically, 60% of respondents rated the federal government’s effort to curb crime and insecurity as poor.
- More than half (52%) of the youth who had contacts with the police reported that they were victims of police brutality across the states.
- Respondents were asked for the immediate and remote causes of the protests and they gave diverse reasons for the protests. Over 40% of the respondents reported that the protests were sparked by police brutality, 19% were of the opinion that the protests were caused by the general high unemployment among youths in the country, while very few believed that the protests were caused by fake news and widespread poverty (4% and 8% respectively), and 17%) attributed it to general dissatisfaction with the government.
- The respondents were asked about persons and groups who were responsible for the organization of the protest. About a third (35%) identified political opponents of government were responsible compared to International NGOs (26%); Local NGOs with foreign support (27%), foreign government (24%), and some persons in diaspora opposed to government (30%) and members of ethnic separatist groups (29%) and foreign media (26%).
- Respondents were also asked if the government had been able to address the demands of the ENDSARS protesters. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents rated the government’s handling of demands by ENDSARS protesters as inefficient.
- More than half (58%) of respondents were of the opinion that there has been no change in the quality of policing services since the ENDSARS protests while 15% of the respondents were of the opinion that the quality of service by the police has declined.
- Majority of the respondents (65%) described the government’s handling of the protests as inefficient.
- Respondents were asked to describe the coverage of the protests by the media and 52% of respondents in the survey rated the conduct of media practitioners during the ENDSARS protest as professional. Also, half of the respondents agreed that reports of the coverage of the protests by media practitioners were accurate. However, more than a third described their role as unprofessional.
- Respondents were asked about their perception on the conditions and facilities in the NPF since the end of the ENDSARS protests.
- Significant majority (63%) said that transportation and communication infrastructure had not improved.
- Forty-two percent of the respondents were of the opinion that the barrack accommodation was still the same while 21% of them reported that the barrack accommodation was worse than before the protests.
- 40% of the respondents were of the opinion that there was no significant change in the use of technology to aid policing by the Nigeria police.
Performance and Conduct of the Police since the of ENDSARS Protests
|How will you describe the performance of the Nigeria Police Force in the following activities since the end of ENDSARS protest in October 2020?|
|Areas of activities||Better
|Attitudes of the police towards members of the public||38.55||27.26||20.77||13.43|
|Criminal intelligence and investigation||40.67||25.00||19.83||14.50|
|Treatment of young persons by police officers on patrol||38.97||28.93||20.50||11.61|
|Confidence in police by members of the public||39.26||25.89||22.74||12.11|
|Use of unlawful force against citizens by the police||40.43||27.24||20.22||12.11|
|Bias against girls and women by police officers||38.37||28.53||20.73||12.38|
|Discipline of police officers who maltreat members of the public||39.37||27.90||18.73||14.00|
|Regular training of all cadres of police personnel||38.63||25.36||20.16||15.85|
|Protection of the rights of citizens by the police||39.52||26.08||21.62||12.79|
|Treatment of suspects by the police||39.88||27.50||19.93||12.70|
|Demand for bribe by police officers||39.90||27.53||21.58||10.98|
|Police response to call for assistance by citizens in distress||40.92||26.52||21.36||11.21|
|Supervision of police on duty by their superiors||39.48||25.28||19.29||15.94|
|Reporting misbehaviour of a police officer||39.53||24.83||19.99||15.65|
|Obtain redress for misbehaviour of police officers||39.18||25.11||19.23||16.48|
|Attitudes towards girls and young ladies||41.03||29.89||18.08||11.00|
|Attitudes towards boys and young men||40.34||28.48||20.83||10.36|
|Attitudes towards women||39.63||29.85||19.19||11.33|
|Attitudes towards men||38.47||27.75||22.04||11.74|
|Collusion between criminals and some police officers||39.67||25.96||20.62||13.76|
Police-Public Relationships since the End of ENDSARS Protest
|How will you describe the relationship between the police and members of the public in the following areas since the end of ENDSARS protest in October 2020?|
|Confidence in police by members of the public||27.73||38.89||22.98||10.39|
|Willingness of members of the public to report crimes to police||26.71||40.11||21.25||11.93|
|Wiliness of members of the public to cooperate with the police in crime investigation||27.57||40.50||20.91||11.03|
|Cooperation with the police in curbing crime and insecurity by citizens||27.00||40.08||21.26||11.67|
|Assault of police officers by members of the public||27.73||38.07||20.78||13.43|
|Killing of the police by crime suspects and militias||27.71||37.34||20.64||14.31|
|Assistance to a police officer under attack by members of the public||27.63||37.63||21.00||13.75|
|Collusion between criminals and some police officers||25.96||39.67||20.62||13.76|
Conclusion and Recommendations
- The aim of this study was to aggregate views and concerns of the public on police reform initiative by the government and the police authority since the EndSARS protest.
- Majority of the respondents believed the protests were as a result of police brutality while others believed that the protests resulted from piled up anger against the government.
- On the impact of the reforms, most of the participants reported that the quality of policing had not significantly improved after the protests
In view of the findings from this study, the following recommendations are hereby proposed with the aim of achieving effective reform of the Nigeria Police Force in Nigeria: The reform process should be given due priority the implementation must be inclusive to ensure its success.
- More awareness should be created around various interventions made by the government and the NPF in particular, after the ENDSARS protests using both traditional and contemporary social media platforms, especially the youth friendly ones such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, among others.
- Government should implement public-oriented programmes aimed at rekindling public trust in the Nigeria Police Force
- More funding should be released to the NPF to enhance better service delivery and overhaul of obsolete infrastructure
- The NPF should promote human rights as the core responsibility of the police and all special squads to be established
- The NPF should promote accountability and transparency of the police, especially the tactical squads established to tackle special crimes and emergencies
- The NPF should encourage partnership and cooperation between the police and other security agencies, the media, and the public.
- The training curriculum of the police must be reviewed to include capacity building on crowd management, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal relations.
- The NPF must activate and embrace technology-driven policing and results-based management.
- The Research and Planning Department of the NPF should collaborate with research institutions and universities and the police reforms should be data driven.
- There should be more collaborations between the NPF and civil society organisations in terms of skills building, information sharing, policy formation and implementation.