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THE ROLE OF POLICE ON THE ADMINISTRATION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN NIGERIA

Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 65  |  149 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN3,000

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THE ROLE OF POLICE ON THE ADMINISTRATION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN NIGERIA

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1        BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY  

Nigeria as a political entity is bedeviled with a myriad of socio economic and political problems, which are inherently multifarious in nature (Ubeku, 1991). Some of these problems include political instability or uncertainty, corruption, poverty, moral decadence, and various forms of economic crimes such as currency trafficking, product adulteration and piracy among others (Musa, 1991).

The administration of justice refers to the maintenance of right within a political community by means of the physical force of the state. It is the state's application of the sanction of force to the rule of right (Garner, 2004). But in its broad sense, the administration of justice is involved in the exercise of every governmental function, be it legislative, executive or judicial. It is one of the vital functions of state, for the aim of state and government is the welfare and happiness of the citizens (Ewelukwa,

1980). In this regard, the organs involved in the administration of justice include the police, the legal profession, the court and the prisons.

It is a well-known fact that the prime object of the criminal law of which the police form an essential part is the protection of the public by the maintenance of law and order. To this end, it has been stated that the general purpose of the criminal law and the establishment of the police force, amongst others, is to forbid and prevent conducts that threaten harm to individuals and the public at large, as well as to subject to public control, persons whose conducts indicate that" they are disposed to commit crimes (American Law Institute's Model Penal Code, 1968). It includes the control of those who have manifested their dangerousness sufficiently enough to generate fear in the minds of reasonable members of the society. This is because every responsible society takes appropriate measures to protect lives and property of people living within its boundaries. This leads us to the concept of crime control which has been said to refer to a host of activities including all efforts designed to hold the volume of crime in effective check, to keep it from spreading, to restrict and prevent crime infection and continuation, to prevent crime from breaking and spreading to new areas, and to protect society against the activities of habitual and abnormal offenders (Ugwudike, 2002).

 The CJS of a nation represents a system or structure through which the laws guiding the existence and order of such a society is applied and the rights of the citizens are upheld. Certain characteristics have been associated with CJS. They include fairness, justice, equality effectiveness and efficiency (Alemika, 2014; Alemika & Chukwuma, 2005; Gabbay, 2005). These characteristics spell out equity, offence-punishment proportionality, constitutionality, public order and safety and integrity among other things. Criminal justice implies ascertaining whether or not an accused is guilty of a crime and ensuring that due process is involved in the determination of guilt or innocence and the administration of punishment or compensations as appropriate. Thus, the CJS is a social influencing agent that is concerned with orderliness, peace and tranquility in most societies. In influencing others, behaviors can be regulated and managed. However, if the process of influencing others is, in any form, tainted, then such influence may become either negative, difficult to achieve and, or, may be met with outright rebellion and disregard. Therefore in persuading, exerting influence and ensuring compliance, the agents of influence must be credible (Ajzen, 1992; Passer, Smith, Atkinson, Mitchell & Muir, 2003). A criminal justice system is a system made up of different agents charged with the responsibilities of investigating and prosecuting criminal cases and the correction and rehabilitation of those found guilty of opposing the laws. (Olonisakin, Ogunleye, and, Adebayo, 2017)

The principal actors in the Nigeria CJS charged with the responsibility of maintaining one aspect of the law or the other including: the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), the Police, the judges, the prisons and so on are often said to be enmeshed in ineptitude, corruption, and injustice. However, this paper focuses on the roles of the police, judges and the prisons. The reason for this choice is that these three actors are the length and breadth of the Nigeria CJS (Martins Library, and; Onimajesin, n.d; “The role of prison”, 2015).

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Nigeria CJS is an issue that apparently requires attention; given the seemingly unchecked lawlessness that pervades the nation, the phenomenon and increased rate of recidivism in Nigeria, as in most other societies, and the general opinion and perception of justice as a mirage. Nigeria criminal justice system ought to connote an orderly system within which rights of the citizens are protected and those who err on the side of the law are prosecuted. Thus, it would be an aberration for this same system to be characterized by ineptitude and injustice. Because glaringly, a system whose principal constituents demonstrate utter disregard for the office and purpose for which they are sworn to uphold is an aberration.

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The general objective of this study is to examine role of police on the effective administration and criminal justice system in Nigeria. The specific objective are:

1.     To ascertain the role of the police on the effective administration and criminal justice system in Nigeria.

2.      Determine if the police force alone can achieve an effective administration and criminal justice system in Nigeria.

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The important research questions related to this study are: 

1.     Does the role of the police have any effect on the effective administration and criminal justice system in Nigeria?

2.     Can the police force alone achieve an effective administration and criminal justice system in Nigeria?

1.5     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study should be able to critically explain the role of the police on the effective administration and criminal justice system in Nigeria. It will also look into how the police force and other law enforcement agencies can achieve effective administration and criminal justice system in Nigeria. The study will definitely form the basis for further studies in the field.

1.6     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study is concentrated on the function of the Nigerian police force as regards the administration and criminal justice system in Nigeria. It will cover a range of police personnel’s and also some other law enforcement agency personnel’s for information but specifically to examine the role of the police force on criminal justice system in Nigeria.

1.7     LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The issue of finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.

However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.            

1.8     DEFINITION OF TERMS

Police force: this is a body of trained officers entrusted by a government with maintenance of public peace and order, enforcement of laws, and prevention and detection of crime.

Administration: this is the management of public affairs or the government.

Crime: this is an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.

Justice: the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals.

Criminal justice system: is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts.

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