BRIEF OF THE POLICE REFORM PROJECT
The ‘Improving Police Accountability through Police Reforms in Nigeria’ Project is conceived against a backdrop of high levels of police brutality, youth profiling and various degrees of human rights abuses that have come to signify police service delivery in Nigeria since the return to civil rule. This is also coming on the heels of a similar protest which was carried out in the United States by the Black Lives Matter Movement, after the gruesome killing of George Floyd by the police
The Police Reform Project is a 12-month funded project by MacArthur Foundation aimed at inspiring rights-centred approaches and compliance for effective police and policing strategies towards entrenching deeper democratic principles and values in Nigeria. These approaches are multi-layered through capacity building on human rights laws in Nigeria for law enforcement personnel and oversight bodies, the promotion of greater and effective oversight of the security and law enforcement officers through engagement with the oversight agencies on accountability and demand justice for rights violations, empirical research on the state of policing post the ENDSARS protest, high level advocacy for the implementation of key panel reports and the NHRC committees on police reforms and advocacy for the implementation of the recently enacted Police Act of 2020 and the Police Trust Fund Act of 2019, convening the much needed dialogue between the police and key stakeholders including youth groups towards a more inclusive police policy agenda in Nigeria. Awareness creation and on strategic policing policies, guidelines, Force Orders and directives of the Nigeria to enhance the public’s awareness of their rights within the legal frameworks of the police.
Law enforcement institutions are entrusted with a diverse set of tasks requiring a high degree of integrity within police agencies and their oversight. Where this does not function well, law enforcement officers may become vulnerable to acting unlawfully and outside their remit. In post-conflict societies in particular, but also in many non-conflict situations, police reform interventions are much needed, often in the form of retraining for police officers with a particular focus on human rights principles. In addition, a longer-term effort is required to establish a framework for police oversight and accountability to strengthen integrity within systems of policing.
The goal of this project is to entrench a rights-respecting policing atmosphere in Nigeria in line with democratic values through government implementation of the various police reform recommendations in Nigeria. Our intervention proposes to achieve this through a consortium that draws technical capacities and experiences working in the policing and human rights landscape over several decades. The Consortium will therefore comprise of CLEEN Foundation, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Office of the Vice President on Rule of Law, and the Office of the President on Police Reforms. Through our approach, we will intentionally ensure gender will be mainstreamed, youths, and persons living with disabilities will participate effectively in the whole range of the intervention and that their policing needs are adequately reflected in all tools and modules to be developed on the intervention. The intervention across aboard within the consortium are inclusive of people of diverse ethno-religious backgrounds and sex to ensure effective representativeness of Nigeria’s diverse ethnic and religious diversities and that no one is left behind not gender inequality perpetuated through our intervention.