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Expert challenges Nigeria police to adopt modern practices



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-Expert condemn the use of police as private security outfits for the wealthy in the society.

-The inability of the police to convict criminals in court has also been attributed to their failure to adopt modern investigative procedures.

Nigeria police encouraged to wake up to their constitutional responsibilities.

The Nigeria police has been slammed for its reluctance to upgrade its investigative procedures to meet current and world best practices.

A former Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and Solicitor-General of Lagos State, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey lamented the unwillingness of the police to change their approach in dealing with matters.

According to him, this accounts for why criminal cases get dismissed in courts.

He also blamed the long military regime witnessed in the country for the reduction in police efficiency.

Fola Arthur-Worrey made the submission at the launch of The Halogen’s Professional MBA in Security Management programme in Lagos.

“The standard approach when someone is arrested is you take his photograph, then you take his fingerprints and then his height for the purpose of identification but I was DPP for two years and I didn’t see a single photograph in any file which I thought was weird.” He said.

“How do you find out whether this person has been involved in a prior for example? The most fundamental element of criminal investigation, is fingerprinting yet the last case where fingerprints were used to convict in a Nigerian court was in 1964.

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“This was the case of a burglar who left his fingerprints on the louvre of the house he went to burgle. We have tried to get the Police to use anything, even if it’s the old model of pads and paper to document fingerprints but they just don’t want it anymore.”

“We had wonderful experts in every field. We had great facilities like the lab in Oshodi which I relied on when I was a prosecutor in the early eighties. They were good at blood work, they were good at pathology and they knew their stuff.

“Then the Police had the best ballistician, I knew a guy who was a handwriting analyst, trained in Wales, he used to come to court in his blazer and he just used to intimidate the defense counsel. He was just good.

“Nobody does ballistics anymore. When last did you hear of a case that involved ballistics, unlike Oscar Pistorious’ case where the emphasis was on the science of it. It underscores the damage being done by the conflation of security with law enforcement.”

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“We eroded police capacity because of military rule, and its own perception of security and its inability to distinguish between security and law enforcement. This is a critical understanding.

“When we say national security in Africa, we mean to say ‘regime security’, they’re not really concerned with the regular people so all the resources go to the regime security which is why the convoy culture has become so dominant, taking one third of armed Policemen off the streets into the houses, vehicles etcetera of not just the politically exposed persons (PEPs) but also private people, Chinese etc.

“Some people can just wander into the CP’s office and say ‘I need a Policeman’ he will quickly acquiesce and those policemen love it. This is a de emphasis on law enforcement which is a very demanding, meticulous area that leads to convictions in court,” Arthur-Worrey submitted.

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