Police brutality to ordinary citizens is a menace that has being long overdue in Nigeria today. The EndSARS protest carried out by citizens of Nigeria was in response to the incessant misconduct of some officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Making a complaint about the misbehavior of police in Nigeria seem to fall on deaf ears, no wonder the NPF is rated as one of the most corrupt police departments in the world today.
The popular slogan “Police is your friend”, “bail is free”, etc, are just ordinary words not backed with action. Many have had their fair share in dealing with police harassments, illegal extortion of money, bribery, seizing of vehicle etc. If you are a victim of any police officer misconduct and want to report a police officer in Nigeria to the right authority, then read on.
MISCONDUCTS YOU CAN REPORT A POLICE OFFICER FOR
There are certain misconducts/things you can report a Nigerian police officer for. These actions are against the Nigerian Police Disciplinary act and can see such officer suspended from the force if found guilty of such offence. They include:
- The use of violence on innocent citizens.
- Requesting that payment be made for bail.
- Unprofessional conduct by police officers either by demanding and collecting bribes.
- Extortion of money from citizens.
- Cases of brutality and beating.
- Extrajudicial killing.
HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT AGAINST THE MISCONDUCT OF A POLICE IN NIGERIA
The following are steps to follow to report an erring police officer in Nigeria:
STEP 1: DON’T THREATEN THE POLICE OFFICER
A lot of Nigerians are guilty of this. You do not use vulgar words or run into an argument with an armed police officer. He can shoot at you in anger which can lead to injury or death. You have to ensure that you are alive to report and this is done by being calm, police and cautious. Avoid using this phrase “Do you know who I am” It has led a lot of innocent people to their early graves.
STEP 2: NOTE THE POLICE NAME AND RANK
In doing this, you must be very smart. The name of the police officer is normally seen on their uniforms and their ranks on their shoulders (senior police officers) or side (sergeant, corporal, constable). Most times, people don’t see this and can’t give a proper description of who the police officer was that violated their rights.
STEP 3: WRITE YOUR COMPLAINT TO THE NIGERIAN POLICE
In this step, you should write out when, were, why, what and how the said issue happened. Be detailed in providing the necessary information as it would be used during investigation. Note down information such as the date, time and place where the event occurred. If you have witnesses that were present, they should also write their statements too.
STEP 4: SEND TO THE COMPLAINT RESPONSE UNIT OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE
The Nigerian police has provided various channels and phone numbers to the public to report erring officers that wants to give the force a bad name. Send your report to the Complaint Response Unit (CRU) of the Nigerian Police. Their mail is “firstname.lastname@example.org” or send via post office to Police HQ at First Floor, Force Headquarter, Louis Edet House, Shehu Shagari Way, Central Area, Abuja.
STEP 5: FOLLOW UP ACCORDINGLY
After lodging your complaint, make sure you follow up so as to get the justice you demand against such erring officer. You can do this by calling the phone numbers to report a police officer in Nigeria for misbehaviour and misconduct below:
- For Phone calls only: 08057000001 & 08057000002
- SMS & WhatsApp only: 08057000003
- Twitter handle: @PoliceNG_PCRRU
STEP 6: SEEK JUSTICE FROM THE COURTS
Justice in Nigeria isn’t only delayed but can also be denied. You have the right as a victim to sue the Nigerian police force and the erring officer for his or her actions in a court as stipulated by the constitution. We advise that you use this method if other ones listed above isn’t coming forth.
Normally, the time frame set by the Complaint Response Unit (CRU) of the Nigerian Police is seven days for resolution. Ensure that you follow the above steps if you want to report an officer for misconduct. Know that it is the Nigerian Police Force duty is to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. While this article is handy in seeking redress and justice, endeavour to always thank and reward the good officer if you have the opportunity to do so. You can use the same CRU channels to commend and reward these professional officers of the Nigerian Police.