POLICING THE FEDERATING STATES OF NIGERIA: A CRITIQUE OF THE LAW AND POLICIES INVOLVED

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ABSTRACT

The internal security of lives and property in Nigeria is the paramount duty of designated security agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force. Policing can therefore be viewed as the provision of security and the maintenance of peace. To secure a large Federation of Nigeria with about 170 million population and 36 States and Federal Capital Territory of Abuja obviously will not be an easy task. The security agencies are therefore encumbered with enormous threats to national security and other factors which affect effective and efficient performance of maintaining the peace and securing lives and property. There have been clamor recently for state policing in order for the police force to be more efficient. This is without its own flaws. The pertinent question to ask at this stage will be: What is the concept and scope of state policing in Nigeria? What is the constitutional and statutory structure and functions of the Nigeria Police Force? What are the challenges of national security faced by the Nigerian state? What are the factors that militate against policing in the maintenance of national security? What are the laws and policies governing state policing? How will policing of the federating states help in solving the problems faced by the Nigeria Police Force? A critical review of the extant law and policies on policing the Federation of Nigeria by this researcher looked at the adequacy or otherwise of the law and policies in place and the extent it has helped the security agencies to carry out the mandate of securing the federation. The study also looked at the call from some quarters for state police, its relevance and implications, its advantages and disadvantages. Based on the critical review, the researcher pointed out areas of law and policies that require improvement and recommended the way forward for better policing of the Federation of Nigeria.