How to lodge complaints against police officers – Official

The police have urged Nigerians to take the advantage of its Complaint Response Unit, at the Force Headquarters to report misconducts of its officers and men.

The Head of the unit, El-Musta Sani, a Chief Superintendent of Police, made the appeal at a Summit organised in Abuja by the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) in collaboration with the Foundation for Youth Empowerment and Social Justice.

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

He said, so far, from the first quarter of 2024, the unit had received 459 complaints from members of the public against officers and men, 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.

According to him, “it takes the Unit 21 days to receive and conclude investigations on all complaints”.

He said it was worrisome that members of the public did 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 more sensitisation to enlighten the public to take advantage of the opportunity to lodge their complaint 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, properly developed institution is 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.

“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,” he said.

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

Ms Banson 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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