Exploring the subsidiarity principle in policing and the operations of the Nigeria Police Force

Citation:
Odeyemi, TI, Obiyan SA.  2017.  Exploring the subsidiarity principle in policing and the operations of the Nigeria Police Force. African Security Review. :1-19.: Routledge

Abstract:

ABSTRACTThe provisions of the 1999 Constitution, which recognises the existence of a single police force and forbids parallel police organisations, have oftentimes generated controversies among actors in the Nigerian federal polity. Rising insecurity precipitates lingering questions on the utility and adequacy of a single, highly centralised and centrally controlled police force given Nigeria’s geographic vastness and demographic diversity. Conversely, arguments have also dwelt on the dangers of fragmentation considering Nigeria’s psychosocial, economic and political nature. This article attempts to balance these arguments by analysing policing and the operations of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) through the lens of the subsidiarity principle. Subsidiarity is a governance principle in federations, captured in the founding documents of the European Union (EU), which prescribes that governmental powers, authorities and duties should be held by the tier that can best perform them equitably, efficiently, effectively, suitably and based on interest and need. Drawing largely on interviews with purposively selected police scholars, political actors, civil society organisations and police personnel, the paper contends that this principle offers a pragmatic solution to the perennial problems of intergovernmental frictions on the use of the police within the context of governance in the Nigerian federation.

Notes:

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