Presidential Control of the Nigeria Police: Constitutional Reforms for Organizational Performance Development and Political Neutrality


As a federation, Nigeria recognizes three tiers of governance: federal, state and local governments. There is no state or local government police in Nigeria, a single federal police force is responsible for maintaining peace and order in all nooks and crannies of the federation. The Constitution grants virtually unrestricted control over the Police Force to the President. This excessive control impedes the ability of the police force to cultivate and imbibe a culture of respect for the rule of law and recognition of the equality of all citizens before the law. This article interrogates the legal scope of Presidential control over the Force and how it affects the efficiency, impartiality and employment indices of the Nigeria Police. Adopting the doctrinal research method, it was posited that the performance output job security, and deployment of the police force is adversely affected by excessive presidential control. Citizens’ confidence in the impartiality of the Police is at an all-time low, especially as regards political neutrality. It is recommended that the President’s control over the police force be whittled whilst the independence of the Police Council and the Police Service Commission are strengthened.

Keywords: Nigeria police, employment efficiency, legal reforms, political neutrality, presidential control, state policing.

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 65-79 (Download PDF)

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