Crime has been a major subject of concern throughout human history. No society is free of crime and criminals. The Nigeria Police Force is an agency established by law to ensure the preservation of public order and law enforcement as well as the prevention and detection of crime. The police play a vital role in the administration of justice in any society. The police present the entry point into the criminal justice system through reports from the public or its own investigation and surveillance. It is, therefore, a fact that an average citizen has contact with the police more than with any other agency for the administration of criminal justice. This thesis examines the role of the Nigerian police in the administration of justice. The main objectives of this thesis are to critically analyse the role of the police in the administration of justice; to identify challenges militating against the police in the areas of crime control and detection. The thesis observes that some legal provisions on the operation and function of police have negatively affected the operational capacity of the police, for example, section 214(3) and 4 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, just to mention a few. The thesis equally observes that corruption in the Nigerian police has been exacerbated by poor working conditions and inadequate logistics and working facilities. These have greatly undermined the operational efficiency of the police to prevent and control crime in Nigeria. Consequently, the thesis recommends, amongst other things, the amendment of section 214(3) of the constitution to effect that a governor of a state, being the Chief Security Officer, can give lawful directives to the commissioner of police. Similarly, the police must be properly trained, adequately equipped and well-remunerated. The police must also collaborate with other law enforcement agencies sharing intelligence to facilitate crime prevention and detection in Nigeria.
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