The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has for decades been accused of extra-judicial killings, human rights abuses and profiling of impressionable young men who spot dreadlocks, dye their hair a certain hue or tattoo their sun scorched skins.
Now, the force says it is planning to acquire stun guns and revise its rules of engagement in an effort to curb the use of deadly force and clean up its act.
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, told a gathering of senior officers in the capital, Abuja, that he had “initiated actions” toward deploying less lethal weapons – commonly known as stun guns – for low-risk police operations, Reuters reports.
“This is with the intention of addressing public concerns on misuse of firearms by the police with its attendant consequences on lives and effect on the attainment of our community policing vision,” Adamu was quoted as saying.
The cost of the stun guns wasn’t disclosed.
Revising rules of engagement
Adamu added that the police has also revised and simplified “Force Order 237”, which outlines its rules of engagement.
There were no specifics on what changes were made, however.
Adamu said the redesign, reforms of the force would ensure the “protection of fundamental human rights” in policing.
The Nigerian police is also putting together special training for certain units, including the counter-terrorism unit, anti-robbery and kidnapping squads, and criminal investigation specialists.
A stun gun works electrically. It immobilizes an attacker or suspect momentarily without causing serious injury, by sending an electric shock through the body system.