Wednesday 23 October 2013

“Cleening” the police

The report of a recent survey conducted by the CLEEN Foundation has again highlighted the tragedy of the Nigerian state and our so-called war against corruption.

Respondents in the survey indicted several law enforcement agencies including the Police and the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria.

According to the report, our police force topped the list of public institutions where bribery is perceived to be rampant at 33% while the Nigerian Immigration Service followed at 26%, ICPC – 25%, Nigerian Customs Service – 24%, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) – 23%, EFCC – 23%, Federal Roads Safety Commission – 20%, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps – 19%.
As shocking as the figures would seem to the uninitiated, especially in the case of the police, the report only re-affirms what many Nigerians already know to be true.

This is not the first report to indict the police this year or even in the past. As far back as 2003, the Nigeria Survey and Corruption Survey Study of the Institute for Development Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, ranked the police as the most corrupt public institution in Nigeria.
Ten years after that damning report of the Institute for Development Research, the police force still remains top on the list of corrupt institutions as the CLEEN Foundation report has shown.
The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) report of the Transparency International (TI) corroborates the CLEEN Foundation report. The Transparency International report ranks our police as the most corrupt public institution rating it 4.7 per cent of its score of five per cent which represents “extremely corrupt”.

What is interesting about the CLEEN Foundation survey is the wide scope or respondents interviewed.

In the CLEEN Foundation survey, an impressive number of 11,518 random respondents were interviewed across the nation’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. This is opposed to the Transparency International survey which sampled only 1,002 respondents.

The wide reach of the CLEEN Foundation survey and the overwhelming indictment of the police across the nation are indications that public outcry against the police is real and widespread. It is not the sheer imagination of any particular interests as some people in authority would argue.
One wonders when the government will wake up to the reality that its so-called fight against corruption is meaningless where there is widespread bribery and corruption within law enforcement agencies.

If in over 10 years, the police force has failed to come down from its unenviable place on the corrupt institutions ranking, there is little that can convince anyone that its leadership is even trying to deal with the problem.

It would be interesting to have a contrary view from the police leadership especially if such a position is backed by hard evidence of punishment against officers on a scale equivalent or close to the scale of alleged corruption in the force.

We believe that the war against corruption is important and should be taken seriously. Government must purge its law enforcement agencies of corruption if it is to be taken seriously.
The last thing Nigeria needs is a law enforcement system in which small thieves chase after big thieves.



Unknown said...

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