Ispector general of Police, IGP Solomon Arase has  raised an IGalarm that following award of damages being granted by courts against the Nigeria Police Force, over N1.9billion police funds in the Treasury Single Account, TSA, is being garnisheed.
The police chief stressed that if this situation is not urgently addressed, the Police may not be able to perform its functions as the limited budgetary allocations will be needlessly lost to garnishee actions.
IGP Arase raised the alarm in Abuja yesterday at the inaugural annual police lawyers’ conference and the inauguration of the officers and council members of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA police lawyers’ forum.
He said, “The situation in the Civil Justice Sector presents another daunting challenge as civil actions against the Police are either not defended or poorly defended, resulting in the award of damages and eventual garnisheeing of Police accounts. My last count shows that over N1.9 Billion of Police Funds in the Treasury Single Account is being garnished.
The 18th indigenous IGP hammered on the issue of human rights abuse by police officers and men, adding that human rights remained at the centre. “This is not just because of the imperative to have a Police force that embodies the values of fairness, justice and equity, but also because policing in a democratic society, requires accountability which is indeed demanded for by an enlightened and diverse citizenry. This conference was initiated with this realization in mind.
According to Arase, “It is the statutory function of the Police to prevent crime, but only preventive strategies cast in concrete are breach proof. We all know that it is impossible to cast our preventive strategies in concrete; therefore, offending members of our society must be brought to justice.
“It remains the responsibility of police lawyers to guide investigators in the gathering, preservation and presentation of evidence as well as ensuring respect for the rights of persons who become the subject of police preventive and investigative procedures, be they suspects or witnesses of crime. The inability of Police lawyers to effectively assume this strategic role in the Policing space has immensely contributed to the high rate of failure of investigation and prosecution of cases. This negates my vision for a policing system that guarantees Equity, Fairness and Justice.
“When I assumed office as the 18th Inspector-General of Police in April, 2015, I worked with the Police Management Team and critical stake holding partners to initiate a policing strategy consisting of six thematic areas covering Anti-Corruption Drive; Human Rights driven Policing policy; Intelligence-led policing and Community Partnership; Case Diversion, Fast Track Trials and Restorative Justice; Human Capacity Development; and Engagement of cutting edge technology and best international practices to policing.
“Given the institutional challenges the police as a key player in the criminal justice sector faces, reinvigorating the capacity of Police Lawyers by creating a unique platform where they can network and deepen their knowledge and skills has become imperative, especially in the light of the recent passage of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

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