By Paul Obi in Abuja
The Nigerian Police yesterday debunked claims contained in a report recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which rated the Police as the most corrupt institution in Nigeria. Police Public Relations Officer, CPS Jimoh Moshood said the report failed in many respect to appraise the tremendous efforts by the Police to rid itself of corruption.
He stated: â€œThe Nigeria Police, after a careful study of the report, wishes to state categorically that it 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. “For the avoidance of doubt, since the inception of the present administration of the Nigeria Police 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.â€
The Police spokesman said this was to ensure that Police officers operate within the principles of the rule of law and respects the rights of Nigerians while performing their constitutional duties of protecting lives and property and to abhor corruption. CPS Jimoh Moshood added: “Similarly, to further make police officers imbibe a culture where the rule of law forms the bedrock of our actions and activities, andÂ 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, reduce and eliminate instances of unlawful arrests, illegal detentions and inhuman treatments in the police stations across the country that can tempt officers to corruption.
“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.” He observed that 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 againstÂ Police officers. It was re-launched 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.
“This has engendered change of attitudes and good disposition in the conduct of Police Personnel throughout the country towards abstaining from corruption. “However, it must be pointed out that the Nigeria Police sees the report as a clear demonstration of mischief and calculated attempt to promote campaign of calumny against Police officers. “Nowhere in the report were references made to either the improved transparency in the Nigeria Police or the sustained daily sacrifice being made by gallant officers and men of the force in confronting criminalities in the society.
“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,” Moshood stated. The NBS/UNODC report was based on a survey conducted in April and May, 2016 across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT. “The deliberately ill-timed release of the findings from a survey carried out in 2016, is coming at a time when the Nigeria Police Force has fully keyed into the change mantra of the Federal Government of Nigeria â€œChange Begins with Meâ€ and total war against corruption,â€ said CPS Moshood