Modernizing the Nigeria Police Force

The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, has reiterated his commitment to modernizing the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Speaking at the opening session of a three-day training workshop on the use of force and firearms, Mr. Arase said, "We must do our best to modernize NPF tactical operational strategies to commensurate levels with international best practices."

The training workshop was held in Abuja from 21 to 23 July 2015 under the framework of the European Union funded project, Support to the Justice Sector in Nigeria and in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland. Assistant Commissioners of Police and heads of the legal section in the 12 zonal commands and the nine police training institutions in Nigeria participated in the training.

The Inspector General of Police said the subject of the workshop was the cornerstone of the policy thrust of the NPF. He encouraged officers not to see the workshop as a mere academic exercise, but as a practical hands-on approach to improving and modernizing the Police Force.

Mr. Arase thanked the European Union, the Embassy of Switzerland and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for providing financial and technical support for the training workshop. "I wish to acknowledge the support of the European Union, UNODC and the Swiss Embassy for their unflinching support to the actualization of this workshop, which has potential to save countless human lives," he said.

In his address to participants in the workshop, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Niger and Chad, Mr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel, said the use of force and firearms has been a recurrent issue in the Embassy's engagement with different stakeholders in Nigeria. "The issue of force and firearms is one of the important issues that the Nigeria Police has to deal with particularly in relation to human rights abuses which occur as a result of excessive force and misuse of weapons," he said. He added that if force must be used it must at all times be based on the rule of law, be proportionate and result in the least possible damage.

The workshop was facilitated by distinguished national and international experts in police training and it covered issues of human rights standards for law enforcement officers and their use of force and firearms, democratic policing, principles of proportionality, legality, authority, necessity and responsibility in the use of force, the issuance and handling of firearms, tactical use of force and firearms, and the reporting and investigating of the discharge of firearms. The last day was dedicated to discussing a draft proposal for a revised Force Order 237 on the use of Firearms as well as a draft Manual of Guidance on the Use of Force and Firearms by Nigeria Police Officers.

UNODC provides technical assistance for justice sector reforms globally. Considering the importance of the police as the first point of contact between the State, victims and perpetrators of crime, UNODC has supported the elaboration of a global handbook on the use of force and firearms that will be published in the next months and made available to the public on UNODC website.

Support to the Justice Sector in Nigeria is a 42-month project funded by the European Union with €25 million and implemented by UNODC to improve the effectiveness, accessibility, accountability, transparency, and fairness of the justice system in Nigeria. It supports key initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Justice to drive a coordinated, unified and integrated reform across the justice sector. 

 

For more information, please contact:

James Ayodele, Outreach and Communications Officer, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Tel: 234 701 683 9159, 234 802 976 8649, E-mail: james.ayodele@unodc.org