The Federal Government on Friday promised to address the challenges of inadequate funding, training and other challenges facing the Nigeria Police Force.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the promise at the inaugural annual Inspector-General of Police’s Strategic Police Management Conference in Abuja.
Osinbajo was represented at the conference by Dr Yomi Dipeolu, his Special Adviser on Economic Matters, which has “Custodial Violence and Strategic Police Management in Nigeria” as its theme.
He told the police that “in view of the importance of your role in maintaining law and order, we will address the challenges of adequate funding, training and other challenges that you face.”
On custodial violence, the vice president attributed the delay in the trial of cases to the attitude of police toward confessional statements.
He said “it is my view that the current way in which the police take confessional statements is the reason or one of the main causes in delay of trial.”
He noted that in some cases, the confessional statements do more harm than good to the case of the prosecution.
He urged the police to take advantage of the new provisions in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act to record voluntary confessional statements on video or take it in the presence of a legal counsel of the suspect.
Osinbajo urged the police commanding officers to monitor the behaviour of officers in the field and at the station as this would determine the cooperation of the public.
Earlier, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said that the police needed the support of Nigerians to discharge its constitutional roles.
He said that the police must be rebuilt to inspire confidence in every citizen.
Malami added that the present administration was committed to ensuring that the police became more humane and efficient institution in the country.
He urged police officers to desist from violating the rights of citizens and improve on their capacity.
In a remark, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said there was a manpower gap at the strategic policing level in the country.
He said there was a need to initiate sustainable training and capacity building to bridge the gap and prepare the force for future challenges.
Arase noted that the police was collaborating with local and international experts to institute a training intervention and capacity building annually.
He urged officers to embrace opportunities to sharpen their intellectual and professional skills.
“Let me emphasise that the future of the Nigeria Police rests not necessarily on the acquisition of weaponry, but on requisite policing knowledge,” he added. (NAN)