The “No Papers, Pay and Pass Syndrome” in Nigerian Police-Check Points: Consequences and Implications for Citizens’ Trust in Public Institutions.

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 09:30
Oral Presentation
Chukwuka UGWU, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
The Nigerian police force which started during the pre-Nigerian colonial state in 1861 with the initial 100-man contingent and formerly promulgated in 1930 in Lagos, has today burgeoned to the more than 370,000 bulky and largest police personnel in Africa. However, since its inception till date, this key security and political institution has the highest record of official corruption in the conduct of her duties. On the basis of this, several commissions, panels, police reforms, comments, opinion piece and academic research, aimed at the explanation of this phenomenon has been attempted. The aim of this paper is to explore one of the most notorious aspects of this institutional corruption that is rarely academically researched on, which is operationalized at the frequently observed police check-points on Nigerian roads. The police behaviour at these check-points is that all most all mobile transport passersby, cough out some money to the police, as gratification before being allowed to pass. A special focus of this paper will border not only on the dynamics of this institutionalized attitude, but also on the study of the officialdom and efficacy of these check-points, as a crime prevention measure in Nigeria. Particularly of interest to this paper, will be the analysis of the consequences and implications of this endemic security praxis, to the Nigerian citizens’ trust, in the nature of operations of their public institutions and governance systems.