By Jovita Uzoma
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), National Contact of Transparency International in Nigeria, has partnered with the Police Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) of the Nigeria Police Force to enhance transparency and justice in handling reported cases of misconduct by police personnel in the country.
Speaking during a courtesy visit targeted at formalising the partnership to the Unit, Kolawole Banwo, Programme Manager, CISLAC, said the new collaboration would encourage appropriate reporting, investigation and timely resolution of complaints of police misconduct by both parties.
The visit was conducted under the aegis of Criminal Justice (CRIMJUST) Project aimed at mainstreaming the Unit in facilitating reported cases of police personnel misconducts by the citizen.
Giving a background of the Project, Advocacy Coordinator, CRIMJUST Project, Asimi Samuel, said that it was a multinational joint initiative by Transparency International, the UNODC and INTERPOL.
According to Samuel, the Project “aims at strengthening criminal justice institutions to combat drug and organised crime, presently implemented in 10 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa.
“As part of the recommendations of an assessment conducted on the Police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Federal High Court under the project, there was a need to involve the unit to facilitate reportage of misconduct of police officers by Nigerians.”
In response to the development, Head of the Unit and also Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abayomi Shongunle, assured CISLAC team of their readiness to prosecute any erring officer found guilty of misconduct, adding that between November 2015 and 2017, the Unit had resolved 5,927 out of 7,216 complaints received.
He further encouraged citizens to make use of the Police helplines, Whatsapp, Email, Twitter, etc. in filing complaints to enable rapid response.