To address the persistent problem of police brutality and human rights violations by the police, the Rule Of Law And Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) today, June 23, 2022, inaugurated Civil Society Organisations Observatory on the Implementation of the Police Act 2020 and the Police Trust Fund Act 2019 and capacity building for the South West Zone at Ibadan, Oyo State.

In Nigeria, there has been persistent clamour against police brutality by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force. The detestable activities of the defunct F-SARS operatives led to the ‘ENDSARS’ campaign against police brutality and a national call to disband the unit late 2020. These protests were precipitated by years of bottled-up citizens’ anger over police high-handedness, extortion, professional misconduct by operatives of the FSARS unit and indeed the general police culture of incivility that has characterized the operations and personnel of Nigeria Police Force.
In his welcome remark, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma, Executive Director RULAAC said that
globally, police institutions have come under scrutiny and concerns about the delivery of their mandate, especially on the issue of extrajudicial killings and the use of force beyond permissible levels by police officers across the globe. The year 2020 witnessed massive global outrage, protests and upheavals precipitated by impunity of police brutality.RULAAC
According to Nwanguma, to address these concerns in Nigeria, the Consortium proposed a series of actions aimed at bridging a nexus in communication on policy formulation and police reform agenda in Nigeria.
“Our (RULAAC) intervention seeks to address the various concerns regarding policing practices in Nigeria aimed ultimately at protecting Nigeria’s fragile democracy. We collectively recognise the need to strengthen the capacity of the police to understand their role in the survival of Nigeria’s democracy by upholding the tenets of police accountability and respect for human rights which, among others, define democratic policing.

“One of the activities being implemented by RULAAC as a member of the consortium is the establishment of a Civil Society Organisations Observatory Group on the Implementation of the Police Act, 2020 and the Police Trust Fund Act, 2019.” Nwanguma said.

He stated that the highlight of the event would be the inauguration of a CSO-PTF Support and Oversight Group which will act as a catalyst to spur the Police Trust Fund to deliver on its mandate. The CSO-PTF Support Group is to sensitize the public awareness across the geo-political zones on the existence of Police Trust Fund and its mandate.RULAAC “The CSO-PTF Support and Oversight Group is also to hold zonal and national bi-monthly meetings on the performance assessment of the Police Trust Fund across the country. Today’s event is the fourth in a series of zonal launch of the CSO-PTF Support Group.” He added.

Nwanguma stated further that the organisations present at the inauguration have been carefully selected and identified as some of the credible and reliable CSO groups working around police and policing issues in the South West Zone which would serve as partners and in-road to the Zone as RULAAC and the Consortium members would ride on the networks for the implementation of this programme.

“Today’s event is both the inception meeting with the identified CSOs to introduce RULAAC project objectives and intimate you on your roles as members of the support group as well as a capacity building for CSOs on the Police Act 2020 and the Police Trust Fund Act 2019 to help the participants better understand the provisions and purposes of the two Acts.

“We did not want to assume that everyone is conversant with the provisions and purposes of the Police Act and the PTF Act. We believe that when CSOs – including the media – have good knowledge of the Acts, they will then be better placed to mobilise, sensitise, speak about them and monitor same.RULAAC

“We have two resource persons who will each enlighten participants on the Police Act and the Police Trust Fund Act and the role of civil society organisations in monitoring effective implementation of the laws.

“To underscore our recognition of the importance to enhance access to, and awareness of, the contents of the Police Act and the Police Trust Fund Act, RULAAC has, as part of this project, commissioned the production and printing of concise summaries of the two Acts for distribution to police formations and citizens.”  He concluded.

While appreciating MacArthur Foundation for generously supporting this project, RULAAC Executive Director welcomed representatives of the AIG Zone 11, Oshogbo; the Commissioner of Police – Oyo State; the Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oyo State; representatives of the National Human Rights Commission, CSOs and the media.

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