By Kingsley Omonobi-Abuja.
The Federal Government on Friday said it remains committed to addressing the challenges of inadequate funding, training and other challenges facing the Nigeria Police Force with a view to making it rise to its position as the lead security agency.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who made the pledge at the inaugural annual Inspector-General of Police’s Strategic Police management conference in Abuja with the theme ‘Custodial Violence & Strategic Police Management in Nigeria’ attributed the delay in the trial of cases to the attitude of the police towards confessional statements.
Represented by Dr. Yemi Dipeolu, his Special Adviser on Economic Matters, the Vice President promised that in view of the importance of the Police role in maintaining law and order, we will address the challenges of adequate funding, training and other challenges that you face.
“It is my view that the current way in which the police take confessional statements is the reason or one of the main causes in delay of trials” he said.
Osinbajo noted that in some cases, these confessional statements do more harm than good to the case of the prosecution.
He urged the police to take advantage of the new provisions in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, to record voluntary confessional statements on video or take it in the presence of a legal counsel of the suspect.
Osinbajo also urged the Police Commanding Officers to monitor the behavior of officers in the field and at the station as this would determine the cooperation of the public.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in his address said that the police needed the support of all Nigerians to discharge its constitutional roles.
He said that the police must be rebuilt to inspire confidence in every citizen pointing out that the present administration was committed to ensure that the police became a more humane and efficient institution in the country.
He urged police officers to desist from violating the rights of citizens and improve on their capacity.
Earlier, the Inspector -General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase said that there was a manpower gap at the strategic policing level in the country
He said that there was a need to initiate sustainable training and capacity building to bridge the gap and prepare the force for future challenges.
Arase said that the police was collaborating with local and international experts to institute a training intervention and capacity building annually.
He charged the officers to embrace all opportunities to sharpen their intellectual and professional skills.
“Let me emphasize that the future of the Nigeria Police rests not necessarily on the acquisition of weaponry, but on requisite policing knowledge” he said.