The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Center (RULAAC) in collaboration with Nigerian Policing Programs (NPP), have intensified their advocacy on rule of law and accountability by Police in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities especially with key emphasis on observance of human rights.
Speaking at its Stakeholders-Media Engagement series in Lagos, Okechukwu Nwanguma, executive director of RULAAC informed that law enforcement requires that some coercive or forceful moves to ensure compliance with the law .
He noted that though the Police is authorized to use force in certain circumstances such as effecting certain arrests or in self defense, but from a human rights perspective when Police have authority to use force, including firearms, the most important principle is of proportionality using minimum force.
This according to Nwanguma means that if no force is needed, for example to arrest a person, an officer should not use any force at all, and if any force is used, it should be only so much as is strictly necessary to effect the arrest of that person.
He said that as the principal law enforcement agency in Nigeria, the police ordinarily exists to apply and enforce laws and in a very general sense, it may be said that all laws in Nigeria are applicable by Police.
Nwanguma however, observed that as an institution established by law within the public service, the police is also governed institutionally by the civil service rules and financial regulations applicable to all federal institutions.
He advised the public to always respect the police while on duty and in turn the police should be guided by the principle of humility while discharging their responsibilities so that there will be conviviality and amiability.
While he admitted that the police reserve the right to search a person on strong suspicion and without warrant in extreme situations, a measure of understanding must be allowed to flow.
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