The COVID-19 global pandemic has had drastic effects on the lives of people all over the world. As governments strive to implement interventions to contain the spread of the disease, some countries have to deal with forced social distancing and in some, total lockdown. Nigeria is one of the countries that have implemented a total lock-down. While the intervention is promising in reducing the spread of the virus, there are several negative effects associated with the lockdown. One such effect is the increase in police involvement in crime. Discussing the issue gives an insight on the negative implications of the pandemic and forms a basis for interventions to address the challenge.
According to Ewang (2020), Nigerian police officers and soldiers were deployed all over the country under strict instructions to enforce any social distancing orders by the government. However, there has been a negative side to the story. Reports from different cities in Nigeria show that police are abusing human rights through illegal practices such as extortion, illegal detention, use of excessive force, and arbitrary arrests. The law enforcement officers are clearly engaging in abuse of authority and are a disgrace to Nigerian law enforcement.
While some people support the police work, it is evident that the ‘trigger happy’ officers are misusing their authority and harming citizens through their activities. Police use of excessive force and abuse of human rights is one of the challenges of the Nigerian police. In a recent statement, the police Inspector general warned police officers on using excessive force and other illegal activities in the name of enforcing the government’s orders. The government and other international players should establish strict laws and interventions to deal with the menace of police brutality and illegal activity to create a happy society and reliable police force to serve the Nigerian people.