Nigerians lodged 459 complaints against police officers in first quarter of 2024

The complaints were made by members of the public through its social media platforms.

By Deborah Hassan

365Daily – Nigerians have lodged four hundred and fifty nine cases against police officers through the Police Complaint Response Unit (PCRU) from January to March 2024, it has been revealed.

The head of the unit, CSP El-Musta Sani, made the revelation at a summit organised in Abuja by the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) in collaboration with the Foundation for Youth Empowerment and Social Justice.

Sanni said that the unit was created in 2015 to handle complaints against police officers from members of the public.

According to him, from the first quarter of 2024, the complaints were made by members of the public through its social media platforms.

He further explained that 265 of the cases had been resolved while 195 were still being handled by the police.

“It takes the unit 21 days to receive and conclude investigations on all complaints,’’ he stated, adding that it was worrisome that members of the public do not know about the platforms to channel their complaints.

“The major problem is that the institutions are there, but Nigerians do not know their functions. We receive complaints through WhatsApp, Twitter handles, phone calls, and walk-in petitions. And the unit is directly responsible to the Office of the Inspector General of Police through the Public Relation Officer,” he said.

Mr Sanni assured of more sensitisation to enlighten the public of the channels to lodge their complaint through for proper handling.

In his remarks, the Chief Commissioner of PCC, Abimbola Ayo-Yusuf, emphasised the need to strengthen institutions to combat administrative injustice and corruption.

He noted that a properly developed institution was key to good governance, adding that the summit aimed to improve service delivery and ensure that the right to complain and raise issues was available to everyone.

Mr Ayo-Yusuf stated, “The purpose of this summit, which is to foster collaboration between the Public Complaints Commission and other organisations, is quite timely and key to the understanding of the mandate of the commission. The PCC, known as the Nigerian version of the Ombudsman, was established to investigate complaints regarding administrative actions.’’

The Director Administration, Foundation for Youth Empowerment and Social Justice, Sandra Benson, said that the Foundation and PCC were working hard to ensure justice for those who faced injustices over the years.

Mrs Benson emphasised the need for collective action to address the issues, stating that now was the time to match voices with action for good governance.

She highlighted the importance of addressing citizens’ complaints about administrative actions and called for immediate responses, sensitisation of workers on grievance channels, and cooperation for swift justice.

She noted, “The summit marks the beginning of important engagements with stakeholders and the PCC, aiming to restore trust in the system and liberate workers from bad leadership.’’

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Jewel Social Empowerment Initiative, Maurice Okoye, said that the critical need for consequence management in addressing issues in Nigeria was necessary.

Okoye cited the absence of consequence management as a major challenge, leading to lack of accountability among government agency heads.

The CEO also mentioned the reluctance of many to seek justice due to a lack of confidence in the system.

Okoye cited an example where one of his friends chose not to pursue justice after a robbery due to high costs and scepticism about the outcome.

Okoye called for a restoration of public confidence in the justice system and emphasised the need for accountability and responsibility among leaders.

(Written with Agency report)

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