THE EXERCISE OF POLICE POWERS AND ENFORCEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL
The police have the duty of prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime in the society. In the course of their duties, conflicts arise between the law officers and the civilians. In Nigeria, the police are known for the abuse of legal processes and the right of the citizens often culminating at excessive use of force, unlawful detention and in extreme cases which is rampant extra-judicial killing. This paper gave an exposition of some international legal instruments and standards applicable to law enforcement and how they help curtail abuse of the citizens’ right. The paper found that there is gross abuse of human rights in the course of the duty of the police in Nigeria. It was noted that the police have an obligation to observe, ensure compliance and implementation of these international human rights norms. It was recommended that there should be training and retraining of the police in Nigeria especially in forensic and technologically driven investigation and prevention of crime. Furthermore, corruption in the Nigerian police should be curbed by giving more incentives like salary increase to the police. The paper concluded that implementation of these recommendations will improve police human right observance in Nigeria.