Disarming The Innocent & Arming The Violent: Nigeria Police As A
Failed Internal Security Agency Despite Squandering N1.2trillion
Public Funds Since 2015
(Intersociety, Nigeria: 9th March 2018)-The recent directive issued by
Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotum Idris to
37 State and FCT Police Commands to immediately retrieve and recover
arms (un-prohibited firearms or gaming/hunters guns) legitimately
borne by various State, rural and urban communities’ vigilantes in
Nigeria particularly in the country’s insurgency ravaged Northeast
Zone and agro-Jihad-threatening Southeast, South-south, North-central
and parts of Northwest (i.e. Southern Kaduna and other areas with
dominant Christian populations) is totally condemned.
The IGP’s directive is not only incoherent, illogical, unprofessional,
biased and tantamount to issuance of license to untamed and
untouchable violent groups like terror Fulani Herdsmen to intensify
their killing of innocent and defenceless Nigerians; but also fall
short of global and regional best practices in gun control, internal
policing and securitization. The IGP’s directive is further seen as a
direct usurpation of the constitutional duties of the State Governors
as chief security officers of their States and impeachment of the
rights of various communities and their communal heads to community
security or community policing and self defense. It amounts, too, to
disarming the innocent and arming the violent.
Despite estimated 350 defenceless Nigerians hacked to death in the
months of December 2017 and January 2018 by the duo of terror Fulani
Herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents particularly in the Northeast and
North-central, the Nigeria Police Force, constitutionally entrusted
with the country’s internal security operations and management have
continued sitting by watching the killings and maiming to escalate or
degenerate. The killing of defenceless Nigerians has gone berserk and
continued with intensity and alarming casualty figures in the out-gone
month of February and subsisting month of March 2018. In all these,
the IGP Ibrahim Idris and Nigeria Police Force have remained grossly
incompetent and incapable; engaging in shadow chasing and beating
about the bush.
It saddens our heart that the appointment of persons into the office
of the Inspector General of Police and other top hierarchies of the
Force in Nigeria such as offices of DIG, AIG and CP had for long and
in recent times particularly under the present central Government in
Nigeria been afflicted with virus of favouritism, nepotism and
sectional or ethno-religious sentiments; leading to the headship of
the Force dominated by dullest brains in the policing circles.
Totality of the above, in addition to gross immorality, corruption and
corrupt practices; has led to grievous failure in the internal
security and policing of Nigeria. Despite being the most populated
legally armed and supposedly most powerful security arm of the
Federation of Nigeria under the country’s present democratic setting;
the Nigeria Police Force have failed woefully.
The Force, according to its official updates made public in December
2017, is presently populated by 300,892 officers (as defined by the
Police Act, “a police officer is any serving or sworn police officer
from the rank of police recruit to Inspector General of Police”). The
Force also presently maintains 6,900 field operational formations.
These formations do not include police special formations such as SARS
or police anti cult offices scattered in the country’s 774 Local
Government Councils.
The 6,900 police formations in Nigeria include 12 Zonal and 37 State
and FCT (Abuja) Commands, 128 Area Commands, 1,388 Divisional
Commands, 1,579 Police Stations and 3, 756 Police Posts. The Force
says it presently has a total of 14, 306 vehicles in its car fleet.
The failures recorded by the Nigeria Police Force particularly since
2015 despite hundreds of billions of naira worth of tax payers and
collective revenues being wasted on its personnel and management on
annual basis; are not only saddening and alarming but also comparable
only to police organizations of the failed States.
The Force forensic department and its lab (heart of police
intelligence and ICT driven crime detection and investigation) is
irremediably moribund; likewise its central crime registry (for
gathering of crime data and statistics); general intelligence, crime
detection and investigation. The Police crime statistics in the
country are not only grossly inaccurate and unreliable but also cannot
compete with official police crime statistics around the world. The
Force is also thousands of miles away from confronting challenges of
ICT including controlling and managing cyber crimes and cyber
The ineffectual and unilateral directive of Mr. IGP under reference
clearly shows that the Force is totally aloof in matters of influx,
proliferation, possession and uses of firearms particularly those
classified by the Firearms Act of 2004 of the Federation of Nigeria as
“prohibited firearms”.
That is to say that the Force does not have any credible database or
interrogated statistics or records on: the number of licit and illicit
small arms and light weapons being brought into Nigeria by legitimate
State and illegitimate non State actors as well as types of such
SALWs; destinations through which they are brought into the country;
those responsible for their legitimate and illegitimate procurement;
quantities of same bought or procured on daily, monthly and annual
basis in Nigeria; those possessing them and their percentage per
population as well as how or purposes for which they are used.
If these gun control statistics were credibly at the disposal of the
Nigeria Police Force, in the context of professional and superbly
intelligence policing, the IGP should not have made such mockery of
his office and the NPF by issuing the unpopular and unilateral
directive. By research and law, the vigilantes bearing un-prohibited
firearms or gaming (hunters) guns such as pump action, double and
single barrel  and Dane guns are not responsible for the State aided
mass slaughters ravaging Nigeria. Those under the above category are
dutifully and constitutionally supplementing the community policing
duties of the Nigeria Police Force. The gaming guns borne by such
vigilantes are inferior to modern art of violent crimes and internal
armed conflicts.
That is not to say that communal and urban vigilantes bearing arms
will not be roundly checkmated to tame them in the event of abuse,
recklessness and overzealousness particularly in the areas of sources
of such hunters’ guns in their possession; but such steps must be
comprehensive and well planned; and captured into national security
The Nigeria Police Force must leave community and urban vigilantes
bearing hunters’ guns alone for now and go after violent and terror
groups like Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram as well as others who are
in possession of illicit prohibited firearms such as AK-47 assault
rifles and their likes; machine guns, IEDs, rockets, mortars and anti
personnel and anti tank landmines, etc. Channels through which they
are illicitly procured as well as their sponsors including violent
politicians, couriers and profiteers must also be tracked down, fished
out and punished in accordance with the law of the land.
Nigeria Wastes N300B Annually In Keeping Its Failed Police Force:
Investigations have clearly shown that to keep the woefully failed
Nigeria Police Force running, Nigeria and Nigerians through their
taxes and collective revenues squander N300B (approximately $1B)
annually to maintain their failed Police Force of 300, 892 officers.
That is to say that N1.2trillion ($4B) had been wasted by Nigeria and
Nigerians in the past three budget seasons (2015-2017) and under the
present budget season of 2018 without anything meaningful or tangible
to show for it.
Available records show that the Nigeria Police Force received N321.3B
as its 2015 budget allocation out of which N303B went to its recurrent
expenditures while N17.5 went to its capital expenditures. In 2016,
N283B was allocated to the Force excluding its capital expenditures.
In 2017, out of N482.3B budgeted and allocated for the recurrent
expenditures of the Federal Ministry of Interior, the Police got about
N300B and in the present 2018 fiscal year, the Nigeria Police Force is
expected to receive N322B mostly made up of recurrent expenditures.
Despite the huge sums wasted yearly to keep the Force running, the
Force through its grossly immoral and corrupt personnel still
corruptly and violently rake in estimated N107Billion annually from
various roadblocks mounted on roads spread across the Southeast (about
N32.4B), South-south (about N25B), Southwest (about N25B),
North-central (about N15B), Northwest (N8B) and Northeast (about N5B).
The calculation above is done using Southeast as a study base in
addition to other social factors put into consideration including blue
collar and white collar settings and poverty level in the areas
investigated. In Southeast Nigeria, for instance, there are estimated
3000 police roadblocks and extortion joints fuelled by high volume of
blue collar setting or high concentration of commercial activities as
well as racial profiling or discrimination; leading to each police
roadblock illicitly smiling to the bank on daily basis with average of
N30, 000; translating to N90M daily, N2.7B monthly and N107B annually.
The second juiciest areas for police roadblock extortion in Nigeria
are South-south and Southwest yielding police extortionists estimated
N25B each on annual basis. The two Zones are closely followed by
North-central which yields the police extortionists about N15B yearly.
The Northwest and Northeast Zones are estimated to be yielding the
Nigeria Police Force and its extortionist squads about N8B and N5B
yearly. The huge disparity in the sums being raked in annually between
Southern and Northern Nigeria particularly Northwest and Northeast is
attributed to high poverty level, racial esprit de corps and dominant
white collar setting; bringing the grand total of sums robbed
Nigerians from their roads annually by the officially sanctioned
police roadblock extortion syndicates to about N107B.
In Southeast, most of the criminal proceeds of the estimated N32.4B
annual police roadblock extortion come from Anambra and Abia States
which have dominant blue collar settings in the Zone; followed by Imo
State owing to its common boundary with the two States. Average of
N40,000 is illicitly pocketed by each police extortion squad on daily
basis in Anambra and Abia States; N30,000 in Imo State and N20,000 in
Enugu and Ebonyi States owing to their relatively white collar
settings; translating to zonal average of N30,000 on daily basis per
police extortion squad.

In South-south, the police roadblock extortion is fuelled by large
concentration of black gold or crude oil and gas exploration and
servicing activities with major focus being Rivers, Delta and Akwa
Ibom States. In Southwest, Lagos as the country’s largest commercial
hub with spill-over effects in Ogun State fuels police roadblock
extortion in the Zone. In North-central, Abuja as the Federal Capital
Territory of the country fuels police roadblock extortion in the area;
likewise in Northwest where Kaduna and Kano fuel the extortion as the
commercial hub of Northern Nigeria. These blue collar settings attract
high road usage or patronage and accompanied commercial activities.
The calculations and estimates above generally exclude criminal sums
amounting to billions of naira raked annually from police custodial
“bail fees”  by corrupt personnel of the Nigeria Police Force as well
as proceeds and assets recovered from criminal suspects such as kidnap
and armed robbery suspects. Others are properties and cash sums
violently possessed from victims of frame-ups and property squabbles
by corrupt police law enforcement and investigation operatives such as
SCID/CIB and SARS operatives.
Billions of naira raked from outside conventional policing budgetary
processes such as “special security assignments or services” (i.e.
presidential, governorship and legislative election security),
“protection of VIPs and fat brown envelopes” and “assets and other
facilities of local and multinational companies” including banks are
also not included. Those illicitly raked-in annually from “protection”
of facilities and products of some natural resources through “police
anti bunkering operations”, etc as well as those illicitly made from
seaports (by some corrupt Marine Police personnel) and air ports (by
some corrupt Air Port Police personnel) are also not included in the
estimates above.
In summation, it may be correct to say that Nigeria and Nigerians lose
as much as N500B or $1.7B to police open corruption and other codified
corrupt practices. Such police open corruption and other codified
corrupt practices appear to have largely concentrated on police
roadblock extortion, anti bunkering, seaport and air port extortion,
election security, protection of VIPs and fat brown envelopes; and
security protection of companies such as banks, industries and
multinational companies. Totality of these criminal and codified
criminal proceeds has never been reflected in the annual budgets of
the Force or Police IGRs but shared by their collectors, instructors
and prompters.
A clear case in point is the grave and yet-to-be investigated
allegation levelled against the present IGP by Senator Hamman Misau of
Bauchi Central Senatorial District in August 2017 in which he accused
the IGP thus:  Specifically, the IGP, on good authority from within
the force, collects over N10billion on monthly basis as money for
special security provided by men of the Force to corporate bodies and
highly placed individuals, including criminals, running to N120billion
on year basis without any reflection in Police annual budgets or
internally generated revenue”.
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Barr Chinwe Umeche
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program