The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is the principal security agency saddled with internal security in Nigeria. There are other internal law enforcement agencies such as the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), State Security Service (SSS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The powers of Nigeria police officers are expressly posited in Sec 4 of the Police Act.
The disorderly growth in the Nigerian states necessitated an alternative outlook to checkmate the prevalent insecurity since the police have been continually eroded in their constitutional duties. The unchecked insecurity challenges by the federal police precipitated a clarion call for a decentralized police force through a constitutional amendment process but the National Assembly has jettisoned the demand.
Giving the foregoing situation, the South-west governors jointly established Amotekun security operative to consolidate the combat against crime in the geopolitical zone. Sec 14 (2b) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, empowers the government to provide adequate security for its people. The Amotekun initiative therefore led to a constitutional crisis between the Sec 14 and the provision of item 45 of the 1999 constitution. This item technically places security matters on Nigeria police and other security services established by the extant laws.
Amotekun is not the most effective means to combat insecurity. The prevalent crime rate and anarchical approach to survival would diminish if the state policies are hinged on economic equality, employment opportunities and good governance; a conducive environment is the most effective anti-crime operation.
Faculty of Law,
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife