Criminal Force: Torture, Abuse, and Extrajudicial Killings by the Nigeria Police Force

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Police in Nigeria commit extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and extortion with relative impunity. Nigeria Police Force personnel routinely carry out summary executions of persons accused or suspected of crime; rely on torture as a principal means of investigation; commit rape of both sexes, with a particular focus on sex workers; and engage in extortion at nearly every opportunity.

The Nigerian government has acknowledged these problems and promised to address them in the past, but to date, abuses have continued with no real accountability. Nigeria's leadership must pay serious attention to police reform if it hopes to succeed in restoring public safety.

This report's findings are based on independent field monitoring and investigation at over 400 police stations and posts in 14 states and territories in Nigeria from February 2007 to January 2009. Research was augmented by a review of relevant legislation, case law, and official reports, as well as secondary materials, including newspaper articles and NGO reports.