Full Project – CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND PREVENT OF POLICE BRUTALITY IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Police brutality or excessive use of force by law enforcement can be legally defined as a civil rights violation, where law enforcement officers exercise due force against a subject. Use of torture as interrogative technique and other wanton abuses of human rights remain some of the major flaws of the Nigeria Police Force which has attracted public odium, opprobrium, and condemnation to the Force Bruce (2011). Torture, described as one of the most extreme forms of violence, resulting to both psychological and physical consequences is sometimes considered as an indispensable interrogation mechanism for gathering strategic intelligence Constanzo & Gerrity (2009) Worried by the incessant reports of human rights abuse of the members of the Police Force, the Former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, once warned the Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives against torture and extrajudicial killings, saying “no policeman in the world had the right or authority to kill crime suspects” The Punch (2016, September 23) He admonished the SARS personnel to always respect the right of every Nigerian, noting that this was the way they could change the negative public perception about them. Protests against police brutality previously have arisen in Nigeria, as advocates and researchers have documented extensive evidence of human rights abuses by SARS officers and other NPF personnel. In a 2016 report, Amnesty International asserted that SARS officers routinely committed torture and other abuses against detainees—many of whom were arrested arbitrarily, detained incommunicado, and forced to “confess” or pay bribes to secure release Aborisade, R. & Fayemi, J. (2015).
Police brutality has thus lead to youths engagement in fierce protest. Protest is a global phenomenon. Therefore, the past decade is saturated with instances of protests across the world, such as Occupy Wall Street, the Spanish Indignados, the first Arab Spring uprising of 2010 in Tunisia and Egypt, and the second Arab Spring in Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria in the period of 2018-2020. The Black Lives Matter movement, Gorge Floyd and anti-lockdown protests were also carried out in various nations, such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic and other European nations. Similarly, the South American nations (Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela) also experienced widespread protests due to long periods of frustrations, dissatisfaction with the social policies of governments and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Asia, common protests included the labour protests in China, the Anti- Extradition Law Amendment Bill movement in Hong Kong (2019-2020), the Candlelight Struggle or Candlelight Revolution of South Korea (2016-2017) and a host of others. In the African setting, common protests included protests related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fees Must Fall protest (2015-2016) and xenophobic protests in South Africa, the Malian spring protests of 2020, and the anti-third-term presidential bid protests in Ivory Coast in the run-up to the presidential election of 31 October 2020. In recent times, Ghanaians have also protested as a result of widespread socio-economic challenges, such as rising inflation, high cost of living, corruption and removal of fuel subsidies on goods and services.
Nigeria has a rich history of protests, especially student protests, which played a seminal role in the struggle for the nation’s independence in 1960. Thus, there has been a preponderance of protests in Nigeria. This unwelcome development is so pervasive that many have considered protests to be an indispensable part of contemporary Nigerian society. Nigerians have protested for several reasons, which include police brutality. Given that the political and socio-economic structure of Nigeria plays a key role in the determination of the roles and priority of the citizenry and the police force, various tasks of the police in Nigeria are related to the various conflicting interests among various citizens, which could threaten the peace and stability of the society. Therefore, in an attempt to ensure law and order, some police officers have resorted to the use of excessive violence and other forms of police brutality, leading to a gross violation of the human rights of Nigerians (Alemika, 1999; Ibrahim, 2016). The resulting protests against acts of brutality, especially those committed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an elite group within the police force tasked with combating armed robbery and its associated crimes, have been a recurring theme in Nigerian society. The EndSARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) protest, which resembles related global protests, was largely unanticipated, leaderless, local and global, online and offline, violent and non-violent. As Nigerians and the global community takes stock of the immediate and future implications of the EndSARS protests, this study expands the frontiers of knowledge with a focus on Causes, consequences and prevent of police brutality in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Police brutality in Nigeria is a significant problem that has been the subject of national and international concern. The causes of this issue are multifaceted, ranging from systemic corruption, lack of proper training, and inadequate resources to a culture of impunity. The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) has been accused of numerous human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary arrests (Amnesty International, 2020).
The consequences of police brutality in Nigeria are far-reaching. It undermines public trust in the police, which is crucial for effective law enforcement. The fear and resentment generated by police brutality can lead to social unrest, as seen in the #EndSARS protests in 2020 (BBC, 2020). Furthermore, it discourages victims and witnesses of crime from cooperating with the police, thereby hindering crime prevention and resolution.
Preventing police brutality in Nigeria requires a comprehensive approach. First, there needs to be a reform of the NPF, including better training in human rights and non-violent policing methods. The Nigerian government should also increase funding for the police to improve their working conditions and resources (Human Rights Watch, 2019).
Second, there should be stronger oversight and accountability mechanisms to deter police misconduct. This could include independent bodies to investigate complaints against the police, and stricter penalties for officers found guilty of abuses. The Nigerian government should also ratify international human rights treaties that prohibit torture and other forms of ill-treatment (Amnesty International, 2020).
Third, there should be greater public involvement in policing. Community policing initiatives can help build trust between the police and the communities they serve, and provide a platform for dialogue and problem-solving. The Nigerian government should also promote transparency by making information about police operations and misconduct publicly available (Human Rights Watch, 2019).
Addressing police brutality in Nigeria is a complex but urgent task. It requires not only changes within the NPF, but also broader societal and political reforms. Only through such comprehensive efforts can Nigeria hope to end the scourge of police brutality and build a police force that respects and protects the rights of all citizens.
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective of the study is on Causes, consequences and prevent of police brutality in Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are:
- To examine the main causes of the EndSARS protest among Nigerian youths
- To examine the consequences and implications of the EndSARS protest and police brutality among Nigerian youths
- Prescribe possible ways of solving the problem for peaceful co-existence of the police and youths in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
From the above objectives, the main research question will be;
- What are the causes of the EndSARS protest among Nigerian youths?
- What are the consequences and implications of the EndSARS protest and police brutality among Nigerian youths?
- In what ways can the peaceful co-existence of the police and youths be achieved to avoid another protest?
1.5 Justification/Significance of the Study
This study will help government and policymakers align and realign laws and policies to fit into the demand of the populace to create an environment that will promote and protect the rights of the citizens, rule of law, protection of lives and properties as stated as the major function of the security personnel and restrict the abuse of power of security personnel in the country. Also, this study will serve as reference materials for further studies.
1.6 Scope and Limitations
The main thrust of this research work is to examine Causes, consequences and prevent of police brutality in Nigeria. A lot of factors act as a constraint to this work though it was carefully managed by the researcher. Such constraints are:
Financial Constraints: The researcher was with limited funds, she cannot visit all the areas to get responses from respondents but she was able to get good information concerning the research topic.
Time Constraints: The researcher was involved in other departmental activities like seminars, attendance of lectures et.c which limited her time for the research but the researcher was able to meet up with the time assigned for the completion of the research work.
Dearth in Literature: There is a dearth of literature available that examines ENDSARS and Police brutality. Most research and literature explores only media coverage of the endsars.
1.7 Research Methodology
In this chapter, the overview of the research design that was employed in this qualitative case study is explored in relation to Causes, consequences and prevent of police brutality in Nigeria. In this section, I described the research design, population, sampling, data collection, researcher’s role, and data analysis. An explorative case study design was used for the study based on the theoretical framework of Structural functional theory as adapted to suit the Nigerian circumstances. This was appropriate for this research, as a case study research is a qualitative approach in which the investigator explores a bounded system over time, through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information(Creswell, 2007), with data converging in a triangulating manner (Yin, 2009). Qualitative researchers use triangulation to minimize the threat of validity. I used triangulation in this study to ensure validity of data.
1.7.1 Research design
Secondary data from multiple sources were analyzed on Causes, consequences and prevent of police brutality in Nigeria. Personal interviews of 13 participants selected through purposeful sampling, including youths who participated in the endsars protest were conducted to gain a better understanding of the causes of the protest, as well as the challenges faced as a result of police brutality during and after the period . Data triangulation was employed in sifting the data covering the study to the period of the crisis.
Researchers must select appropriate research designs in a qualitative study. According to Yin (2009), “in the most elementary sense, the design is the logical sequence that connects the empirical data to a study’s initial research questions and, ultimately, to its conclusions” (p. 26).
However, A qualitative case study approach was used in this study as the method provides insights into events through interpretive meanings to participants’ lived experiences.
According to Creswell (2009), a qualitative research is a form of interpretive inquiry in which researchers make an sense of what they see, hear and understand. The goal is to strive to build a complex, holistic picture of the problem or issue under study. Trochim and Donnelly (2008) argued that qualitative research generates detailed information to tell stories behind phenomena Qualitative research should enable a researcher to describe the research phenomen0n in the language of the participants.
I relied on existing secondary data and personal interviews to gain a detailed insight into the research’s phenomena. O’Sullivan and Rassel (1999) suggested the use of a case study research strategy if one wants to learn the details of how something happened and why it may have happened. Merriam (2001) pointed out that a qualitative research is an umbrella covering several forms of inquiry that help researchers to understand and explain the meaning of a social phenomenon with as little description of the natural setting as possible. Qualitative tradition provides the researcher and participants the opportunity to clarify and confirm information presented during in-depth interviews. According to Yin (2009), a qualitative case study represents an inquiry process that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in an depth manner that helps to provide clarity. Qualitative case study approach is suitable in collecting open-ended data from participants in a collaborative manner that makes data interpretation meaningful.
A case study design should meet four critical conditions to maximize its quality.
These are (a) construct validity, (b) internal validity, (c) external validity, and (d) reliability (Yin, 2009).
1.7.2 Area of Study
This study covers only Causes, consequences and prevent of police brutality in Nigeria. The researcher selected this areas because it is a current phenomena in Nigeria which required attention from academic researchers in other to establish the causation and effect as postulated by Mugenda (2003)
1.7.3 Sample Size and Sampling Technique
Purposeful sampling were utilized in getting data needed from the study, and also to gain a better understanding of the module perandi of EndSARS protest and Police brutality in Nigeria.
1.7.4 Data Collection Techniques/Sources of Data
Qualitative data collection techniques were employed in the study. Archival data were drawn from multiple sources, such as secondary existing data such as government gazettes, official reports, nongovernmental documents, reports from human right activists, peer-reviewed journal articles in Nigeria.
1.7.5 Data Processing and Analysis
The data collected in this study were pointed to the study’s research questions. According to Yin (2003), research data should be linked to the research questions of the study. Pattern matching was employed in this study and constant comparative method was used o analyze data in order to link data analysis to the research findings and establish themes. Yin (2003) argued that pattern matching is one approach of linking data to proposition in a case study. Data collected for this study were coded and reviewed to discern emerging themes related to each of the research questions.
1.8 Organization of Study
The organization of this research work were scheduled into five chapters to give a clear reading and understanding of the subject matter. Chapter one discusses the background, problem statement, scope, significance, and objectives, research methodology and other research variables for undertaking this research project. Chapter Two looks at existing literature and theoretical framework related to the study to gain an understanding of the research topic. Chapter Three presents the Ethnographic Analysis Or Over View Of The Subject Matter. Chapter Four comprises the several corruption and governance recorded under goodluck administration. Chapter five summarize the findings of the study and also make recommendations that would contribute to solving the problem raised, as well as a recommendation for further study
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Full Project – CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND PREVENT OF POLICE BRUTALITY IN NIGERIA