Mr Ekpo Nta
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)
Plot 802 Constitution Avenue
18 January 2012
Re: Request to investigate the spending of budgets for Police Colleges for the past 10 years
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) is writing to request you to urgently begin a thorough, transparent and efficient investigation into the management and spending of budgets meant to improve the infrastructure and conditions of police colleges and trainees’ welfare across the country, in order to establish whether such budgets have been spent as allocated or simply stolen, misused or mismanaged, and to ensure that any suspected perpetrators are brought to justice.
SERAP is a human rights non-governmental organization whose mandate include to promote and ensure respect for socio-economic rights of Nigerians, and to promote transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors through human rights.
Recent investigation and documentary by Channels TV show among others that training facilities are in terribly bad shape; that the college is overcrowded (housing 3000 people instead of 750); that student hostels are in dilapidated conditions and lack beds, mattresses and decent and functioning toilets.
SERAP believes that the poor, dehumanising, and deteriorating state of the Police College Ikeja and other police colleges across the country seem to explain why the force has been unable for many years to provide adequate security for the common man and to effectively tackle crimes. The inhuman and degrading treatment of police trainees as shown by the Channels documentary also illustrates the deep rooted corruption in critical institutions of government and public services that have been completely neglected for several years.
Unless budgets for police colleges are transparently spent as allocated, these institutions cannot effectively perform the crucial function of training quality officers that will be able to maintain law and order, and contribute to the efforts to improve the safety and security challenges facing the country today let alone win public trust and confidence.
SERAP believes that the investigation by the ICPC into the management and spending of budgets meant for police colleges across the country would provide the much needed accountability, and put a stop to the apparent mismanagement of public resources in that sector.
What Nigerians saw in the documentary cannot be justified legally or morally, and makes nonsense of Nigeria’s international anti-corruption and human rights obligations and commitments.
It is therefore important to obtain an accurate account of the management and spending of budgets meant to establish infrastructure and improve the conditions of police colleges in the country in order to establish whether the budgets have been properly used or stolen, misused or mismanaged. The efforts to fight corruption in Nigeria will not achieve the desired result if there is no proper, transparent and accountable management of public wealth and resources.
SERAP therefore urges the Commission to exert its mandates, power, and influence to ensure that the truth is known in this matter. SERAP also asks the Commission for the following reliefs:
1. The Commission should fully and transparently investigate the management and spending of the budgets for police colleges for the past 10 years, and to establish the use to which the budgets have been put
2. The Commission should make public the findings of its investigation
3. The Commission should ensure that the police authorities faithfully and consistently implement the government’s anti-corruption initiatives and international anti-corruption obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption
4. The Commission should establish a mechanism to monitor the use of funds meant to improve the conditions of police colleges across the country
We urge you to use your leadership and influence to ensure that the ICPC asserts its authority in this matter. We look forward to receiving from you information regarding the steps you have taken to address the issue.