Law Enforcement In Nigeria: The Bad, The Mad And The Sad Part Of The Situation!
The sin qua non for handling a Nigerian under crime investigation is not yet appropriate owing to fair management failure. Despite the presence of abundant law courts located in every nook and cranny of this country, the Nigeria police and their security counterparts are fond of, harassing, intimidating, uncaringly arresting or killing underprivileged Nigerians. In wild circumstances, they completely ransacked and steal properties these Nigerians without authoritative order. You can then imagine what happens to ordinary members who have no locus standi to remain Nigerian. Nobody knows how many Nigerians this government has killed or clamped in jail for absolutely no offense.
It is now politically incorrect, if at collective values are denied from a constitutionally bestowed citizen of this country seen as essentially parasitic on the body politic. The majority of Nigerian underprivileged citizens are seen as milk cows, to be drained at will; and the open society awards those most daring and effective at doing this with status and power.
Most crime is committed by members of this government upon their peers, or on the marginal: welfare scams, drug sales, theft and the retailing of the products of theft, intimidation and extortion. Officialdom presented as the face of an inimical world around us, and the local sources of power as the protectors of the population from this and, increasingly, as the mediators between them and it. In the policed, transparent world of this country, around nine tenths of all crime originates from one twentieth of the population. The poorest twenty percent suffer around 85% of the recorded crime (a probably much more of the unrecorded crime, stress and related tension.
Such tendencies as unchecked as they may appear to be, is resulting to anarchic situation especially in this part of Rivers and other part of the Niger Delta. It showed that our social-political lives is anchored on ‘alternative institutions’, whereby the available turf is divided up amongst equal powers and a modus operandi emerges, by which power balances are defined and managed.
Those who seek redress go to their local power broker: PDP stalwarts, Yar’Adua’s In-laws or likely strife to marry Mr. President’s daughter as a sixth wife, or join civil defence here in Nigeria, in case the armed forces have no vacancy for him owing to non-qualifiedly background or capacity. After some time has passed, social norms come to propitiate him around the Nigerian powers.
The system is becoming a nested pyramids waiting to flow down from the highest reaches of the Nigerian society to the lowest, with each aware of the string within which they operate. Each power-drunk commander-in-thief has to appropriate goods to pass down his or her posterity as well as patronage network. Any “miscreant” of who fail to move to their style suffers loss of job or no employment to his generations because he has no “name”-father Abraham name to drop or echelons in Nigerian authority. See legions of Nigerian graduates wondering from day to dawn jobless. With otherwise or disloyalty, you get nailed down. Even Nigerian business cycle in particular, is handled on a one-to-one basis as collective responsibility is near-impossible to achieve.
Nigeria arrives at laws in order to generate public goods. One important public good is the law of contract and the framework around the rights and duties of private property. Those who transgress these laws – who damage these public goods – are deemed criminal.
Defining what constitute the public good are open, consultative and predicated on the general good, then the resulting laws will be appropriate, minimalist and widely accepted. Second, where the machinery of law generation and enforcement are accountable, transparent and open to challenge, then the processes that give rise to them are most likely to be “open, consultative and predicated on the general good”. What is central is an adaptive process which keeps Nigeria’s regulation appropriate and which handles change in a predictable manner. Failure to achieve this criminalizes increasing swathes of our Nigerian society, as not the least of its many ill-consequences
There will always be the sad, the mad and the bad in Nigeria. At issue is how well these are being managed in order to give those at risk minimal motive to default and to afford minimal impact when they have done so.
The situations call for the pathetic and the parenthetical with distinct characteristics, although individuals may drift from the one to the other in the course of their life. It is true of both groups that; they are drawn from the least educated among Nigerians, They and everyone around these Nigerians are poor and dependent on welfare, They live most of their lives in largely self-isolated Nigerian communities, Individual Nigerians have few specific advantages to lose if they engage in crime: no job, no social position, no threat to their self-regard, There are strong inter-generational affects, where the family life, employment record , criminality and aspiration of one generation tends to be recapitulated in the next.
All these amount to very strong and clear norms; secondly, these Nigerians exposure to and awareness of this government policy at large may be weak (as with what is entailed in holding down a job, for example); and third, the habit of planning for the consequences of one’s actions may be weak. These Nigerians score highly as ‘accidentalists’, with weak impulse control, people whose erratic pathway through life owes nothing to oversight and everything to the distractions of the moment.
Jurisdiction is now or never. President Yar’Adua should set the machinery by which to deal with the Right of Nigerians in crime custody. These issues will bring the rich and the poor Nigerians world into much closer contact, if not alignment. The chronic weakness of our legal institutions (and the frank criminality of many) will make this a heavy burden to carry. This government should institute a limited means and time to address these burdens to give Nigeria a civilized face-look.
Arizona-Ogwu writes from Oyigbo, Rivers State, Nigeria.