In continuation of its mandate of receiving and resolving cases of professional misconduct against Nigeria Police Officers, the Public Compliant Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), in the first quarter of 2017 i.e. January to March, received a total number of 498 cases from across the country against police officers in Nigeria.
This is contained in the PCRRU 2017 First Quarter (Q1) report released on Thursday 18th May,2017 in Abuja. The report shows a 52.8% decrease in number of cases of misconduct reported against Nigerian police officers in 2017 Q1 (498 cases) compared to 2016 Q1 (1,054 cases).
The Assistant Commissioner of Police PCRRU, ACP Abayomi Shogunle in the report stated that telephone call top the means by which members of the public interacted most with the Unit as 362 cases which is 73% of total cases reported were received through telephone calls. However, over Ten thousand (10,000) phone calls were received from the public during the period under review but only 362 phone calls relating to the mandate of the Unit were processed. The report also attributed the successes recorded so far by the Unit to the support of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, NPM, mni.
One of the complaints resolved by the Unit included that of a man whom police in Nyanya Division, FCT Abuja Command helped recovered the sum of Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira (N560,000.00) in a case in June 2014 but had difficulty in claiming same since then. The said man (names withheld) got his money handed over to him in March, 2017 after reporting the issue to the Unit.
The report further shows that Lagos State Police Command top in number of complaints against its police officers with 90 cases representing 18.07%, followed by FCT Abuja 69 cases, 13.86% and Rivers State 59 cases, 11.85%.
Kwara and Ekiti Police Commands recorded no case during the period while Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa, Cross River and Bauchi Police Commands recorded one case each. Kebbi state Command recorded its first case since the inception of the unit in 2015.
Similarly, 355 (71%) out of the received cases were successfully resolved/closed while 65 received cases (13%) were found to be false/unrelated and 78 cases (16%) are still pending and being looked into.
Breakdown of the reporting channels/platforms shows that telephone calls top the means of citizens’ report to the unit with a total number of 362 cases (73%); WhatsApp 75 cases (15%); eMail 29 cases (6%); Twitter 12 cases (2%); SMS 7 cases (1%); Facebook 4 cases (1%) and 9 cases (2%) from Others – hard copy petition letters, media publications.
The report also revealed that two separate cases of serious misconduct forwarded by the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja in respect of alleged illegal detention in Delta state and anther alleged extortion along Airport Road, Port-Harcourt, Rivers states were referred to the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (Force CIID) Abuja for detailed investigations and further necessary action.
The report also advised the public to take advantage of the unit to get their cases against police resolved and justice when not satisfied with any Police action rather than resorting to self help. ”Members of the Public are advised not to take to self help when they are not satisfied with an encounter with any police officer(s) but contact the PCRRU which is available24/7 for resolution of cases of misconduct and other required actions. Such self help by citizens had sometimes escalated the situations and resulted in severe injuries to such person(s) or innocent bystanders; deaths have been recorded in some of such controversal incidents”, ACP Shogunle added, insisting that appropriate disciplinary measures will be meted on any officer found wanting in the discharge of duty.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Police Force in November, 2015 established the unit with a mandate of receiving and resolving cases of professional misconduct against its officers.
IGP Ibrahim Idris, on assumption of duty in 2016, had rebranded and reposition the unit for effective service delivery.
A copy of the PCRRU 2017 Q1 Report is available for download at www.npf.gov/complaint