Constitutional Duties of the Nigerian Police Force

This post outlines the duties and functions of the Nigerian Police to the citizens of Nigeria. The Police is a very vital organization in a state and it is their sole duty to maintain law and order in the society according to the constitution. But in recent times the character of Nigerian police officers seem to toe a different part as crime rate has increased to an alarming rate in Nigeria.



This has made many Nigerian citizen not to believe in the capability of the Nigerian police force. This is because, their experience with the men of Nigerian police are usually not what you wold love to hear on a normal day. Tales of neglect, bribery, nepotism are just a few things that has hampered the original function and duty of the Nigerian Police force.

Well, no matter how bad things have been in time past, this does not change the fact that the purpose by which the Nigerian Police was set up should change as they are charged by law to carry out certain roles, duties and functions in the society.

In this write-up, we shall outline, explain and list for you the content of the duties of the Nigeria Police Force.

1. Power to arrest offenders 

According to the Nigerian constitution, the police have the legal backing to arrest any offender that go against the law of the land. As long as the crime committed is against the tenants of the constitution, such arrest is legal. Although in today’s world, the Nigerian police are seen to take laws in their own hands which is not meant to be. There are laid down rules in Nigeria which specifies what an offence is and what an offence is not.

Also bear in mind that there are certain offences that do not qualify to be called a crime and do not concern the Nigerian police. Examples of such offences includes those related to traffic offence. There are other arms of security established by the law to see to such offences. The Vehicle Inspection officers, the Traffic wardens and the Road Safety Officials are personnels charged with the power to arrest traffic offenders.

2. Power to prevent crime occurrence 

It is also the primary duty of the Nigerian Police to prevent offence from being committed especially when there are threats of impending crime or security issues. The police ensures that its officers go to such area to forestall possible breakdown of law and order. Although, there are sometimes where the military also joins the Nigerian police in such instances. At this juncture, such threat might be national or territorial which would warrant a joint task force presence to prevent possible breakdown of law and order.

3. Protection of lives and property of the citizens

Another primary function of the police is to protect the lives and properties of the citizenry of a state.  The series of trainings, the guns, weapons, ammunition are been given to the force by the government to ensure that the protection of lives and property of the citizens of the country are carried out effectively.

4. Power for crime detection

The police is also involved in crime detection. The department in the Nigerian Police Force responsible for this is the Criminal Investigation Department -a department set up to detect and investigate criminal activities, identify those behind a particular crime and bring them to book.

5. Power to maintain law and order  in the society

The constitution gave the Nigerian police the power to compel citizens to obey law and order, thereby maintaining peace in the society. In fact, all other duties listed above are summed up in this specific duty of the Nigerian police, which involves maintaining law and order in the society.

6. Power to investigate matters pertaining to crime

This is where people gets confused on the police functions. The Nigerian police has no right to prosecute any case but are empowered to investigate any matter. It is after such the investigation, that they can sue any suspect found wanting to court for prosecution.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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