Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


This article examines the role of the Nigerian Police Force in the promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria. It discusses the concept of human rights under international and domestic law. It highlights the powers of the Nigerian Police Force under the Police Act and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and observes that although the police use discretion to support human rights, it is the abuse of the discretion and power that results in violation of human rights of citizens. This article identifies the rights most subjected to abuse by the police as the right to life, dignity of the human person, liberty, fair hearing, privacy and family life and analyzes some of the factors responsible for the ineffective performance of the police. As a result, the paper recommends a number of legal and institutional reforms to make the police force more effective in their duties and in the protection and promotion of the human rights of citizens. The article concludes, however, that the government should overhaul the entire police structure in Nigeria by implementing a community policing strategy across the country.

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