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Inter agency

  1. 1. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION1.1 Background In our contemporary world, elections have become the most credible meansof changing leadership. It provides the acceptable platform for aspiration topolitical posts in a democratic setting. Representative government, as is knownworld-wide, derives from democracy where the authority to govern emanatessolely from the mandate of the people. Democracy cannot thrive in an atmosphere of insecurity. Therefore,democracy and security are correlates. The Constitution of the Federal Republic ofNigeria 1999, section 14 (2b) states that: “the security and welfare of the peopleshall be the primary purpose of government...” In other words, “the essence of anygovernment is the provision of a secured environment and enabling conditions forthe citizens to pursue their legitimate activities (Ita, 2011). The conduct of general elections require the existence of an electionmanagement body which must be supported by a virile and legally recoganisedsecurity agency. In Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission andthe Nigeria Police Force exist to play these roles. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) came into being asan electoral management body in 1998 via Decree 17. Since the dawn of the Fourth 1
  2. 2. Republic, the Decree establishing it has become an Act and INEC is listed inSection 153 as one of the fourteen Federal Executive bodies under the 1999constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. INEC has conducted elections at the State and Federal levels in 1999, 2003,2007 and 2011. In all of these elections the Nigeria Police Force played asignificant role in maintenance of law and order, before, during and after theelections.Without adequate security, the conduct of free, fair and credible electionswill be impossible. The electoral process is a whole series of activities involving among others,political party registration, party conventions, voter education, registration andelectioneering campaigns. Also involved are political party rallies, election ofcandidates and eventual inauguration of elected/successful candidates. All throughthis process, the Nigeria Police Force working in tandem with other securityagencies had always stood by INEC. The Nigeria Police Force due to its numericalstrength, geographical spread and powers conferred on it by extant legislations hadalways acted as the lead agency on security matters in past general elections.(Nwosu, 2010) In the exercise of the powers to regulate public/ political assembly andrallies conferred on the Commissioner of Police of each state, the ResidentElectoral Commissioner (REC) who is the head of INEC in each state of the 2
  3. 3. Federation is always carried along. The REC in the exercise of the authorityconferred upon him by section 4(1) (a) and ‘b’ had always had in place acommittee headed by the Commissioner of Police of the state to advise him onsecurity matters relating to elections. This committee is called the “Inter-AgencyConsultative Committee on Election Security” (ICCES). Other members of theCommittee are heads of the Army/Navy/Air Force formation in the state; theDirector of Department of State Service; heads of Prisons, Immigration, Fed RoadSafety Corps, Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps and National Drug lawEnforcement Agency. A similar committee on logistics exists. Usually, within just a week or so to the commencement of general elections,an “Operation Order” has always been issued by the Police high command inAbuja and in each of the 36 states and FCT. This “Operation Order” assignsspecific duties to each officer or group of police officers in relation to geographicalarea, polling booth(s) or collation centres. The Police Service Commission (PSC)and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as well as INEC would have made inputinto this “Operation Order” in course of series of seminars, conferences and otherconfidence building measures in preparations for the elections. (PSC, 2007)1.2 Statement of the Research Problem In the last fifty two years as a nation, Nigeria has grappled with thechallenges of elections, with each successive exercise presenting a newer and more 3
  4. 4. complex challenge. Some of these challenges relate to the relationship between theINEC and the Nigeria Police Force. They may stem from allegations of aiding andabetting rigging of elections against serving Police personnel who collude withpoliticians to ensure that the later win at all cost. As Nwosu (2010), has observed,during the 2007 elections there were allegations in the electronic and print mediathat Police aided the incumbent government to rig the outcome of elections. Henotes further that “the electoral outcome of 2007 elections were adjudged by bothnational and international observers as the worst in Nigeria’s electoral history” Although it is principally the duty of INEC to conduct elections, it may notbe able to deliver a free, fair and credible election if other key stake holdersespecially security agencies of which the Nigeria Police Force is the most visibledo not collaborate with it effectively. Alluding to this, Ralph Ekpu (2011:70)wrote: The role of security agencies.... determines to a great extent how much the election turns out to be free, fair and transparent. In the past we saw the tendency by the apparatus to favour, in fact, protect the ruling parties. And in the current dispensation, we have observed some incumbents use the state security apparatus to intimidate opposition by raising false allegations and closure of their offices.Any act that dents the integrity of the electoral process by members of the NigeriaPolice Force will obviously impact negatively on its image and that of INEC. Nomatter how well – meaning, the intentions of INEC to deliver a credible election, 4
  5. 5. any act or omission by the Nigeria Police Force that mars the electoral process,besides bringing INEC to disrepute, will bring a strain in the relationship betweenthe two bodies.1.3 Research Questions The study seeks to answer the following questions: i. What is the nature of co-operation between the INEC and the Police Force in the electoral process? ii. What are the challenges in the relationship between INEC and the Nigeria Police Force in the conduct of free and fair elections? iii. In what ways can these challenges be addressed? iv. What are the consequences of ineffective co-operation between INEC and the Nigeria Police Force on the conduct of elections in Nigeria? v. What are the strategies for enhancing the co-operation between INEC and the Nigeria Police Force in the electoral process in Nigeria?1.4 Aim and Objective of the Study1.4.1 Aim The aim of the study is to evaluate inter-agency co-operation in the electoralprocess in Nigeria as it relates to the Nigeria Police Force and INEC with a view tomaking recommendations and preferring implementation strategies 5
  6. 6. 1.4.2 Objectives The objectives of this study are: i. To examine the nature of co-operation between the Nigeria Police Force and INEC in the electoral process. ii. To identify and examine the challenges affecting effective co-operation between the Nigeria Police Force and INEC in the conduct of general elections in Nigeria. iii. To assess the impact of the challenges to effective cooperation between the Nigeria Police Force and INEC on the electoral process in Nigeria. iv. To determine ways in which the Nigeria Police and INEC can achieve a more co-operative framework in the conduct of a free and fair election in Nigeria. v. To make recommendations and provide implementation strategies for enhancing effective co-operative between the INEC and the Nigeria Police Force in the electoral process in Nigeria.1.5 Scope The study covers the period between 1999-2011 general elections into thestate and national assemblies, Governorship and Presidential elections in Nigeria.The Fourth Republic was ushered in after the successful conduct of the 1999general elections marking the successful transition of the military to civilian 6
  7. 7. government. From then till the last general elections of 2011, Nigeria haswitnessed un-interrupted civil governance for almost 12 years.1.6 Limitations It is envisaged that the inability to access classified documents may pose alimitation to this study. This is because the two institutions directly involved in thisstudy - the Nigeria Police Force and INEC - are yet to develop a strong and reliabledata base from which information could be sourced. There may also be difficultyin administering research instruments to personnel of these institutions.1.7 Significance of Study/Policy Relevance The outcome of this study may assist the INEC and the NPF in forgingcloser and better relationship aimed at delivering to the electorates, free and fairgeneral elections in future. A closer working relationship from the top echelons tothe ranks and file of these two agencies will act as a buffer to protect the integrityof the electoral process.1.8 Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework of this study is the Network Theory. As definedby Bardach (1994) “network” within the context of inter-agency collaboration is “aset of self - organizing working relationship among actors such that anyrelationship has the potential both to elicit action and to communicate informationin an efficient manner.” This definition aims “to convey the idea that the potency 7
  8. 8. of a network lies in its fusion of two capacities, the capacity to organize workingrelationships and the capacity to transmit information efficiently.” This authoradmits that this definition leaves open the question of exactly what work is to bedone and how exactly the efficient communication is carried out. These questions,he argues further are best treated as empirical rather than definitional and answersto them vary. He further emphasizes that his definition of network applies not topeople but roles. This means that more than one “network” could connect the sameset of individuals. This network theory believes that collaborative work amonggovernment agencies is a potential source of productivity improvement. Thisimprovement comes about through: i. Eliminating non -optimal duplication thus achieving economy of scale; ii. Re - allocating tasks to more effective and efficient specialist, located in specialized organizational structures. iii. Enabling specialists work together in individual cases in such a way as to reconcile conflicting service plans, stimulate more creative problem - solving and view service recipients in a holistic way.The essence of the interface between the Nigeria Police Force and INEC is aimedat mutual understanding with a view at adopting measures necessary for theconduct of free, fair and transparent elections. The duties of the two agencies have 8
  9. 9. already been fully defined by the legal instrument setting them up. Personnel ofthese agencies are assigned roles which sometimes amount to duplication of duties.Through interagency collaboration, tasks are re - allocated through discreteexchanges resulting in individuals engaging in reciprocal, preferential andmutually supportive action. Through seminars, workshops, mock exercises andother confidence building measures, the Police and INEC work toward thesetargets. Therefore, this theoretical framework is most appropriate as shall soonbecome obvious in subsequent chapters.1.9 Methodology This study utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods of research. Allthe data used in the conduct of this study were obtained from both primary andsecondary sources. Questionnaires were administered to sample opinions fromprimary sources-policemen and personnel of other security agencies, INECpersonnel as well as persons who from time-to-time act as ad-hoc staff of INEC.These include primary and secondary school teachers, civil servants and NationalYouth Service Corps members. Purposive random sampling technique wasadopted. For secondary sources, data was obtained from relevant textbooks, researchworks, journals, seminars and workshop papers, gazettes, monographs, 9
  10. 10. memoranda, government circulars and policy papers. Also information wasobtained from internet websites. The primary data collected from field work were coded and analysed by aninferential statistics through use of graphs, charts and tables. Thereafter inferenceswere drawn regarding the phenomenon under enquiry.1.10 Conceptual Clarifications1.10.1 Independent National Electoral Commission A statutory body charged with the responsibility of conducting generalelections in Nigeria, especially with specific reference to its management andconduct. It derives its powers from the 1999 constitution, particularly Sec 153(1)while the Electoral Act No2 of 2010 (as amended) is an act of the NationalAssembly giving further bite to this electoral body.1.10.2 Elections This is a means through which eligible voters choose their leaders in a free,fair and transparent manner in accordance with laid-down principles. An election isone of the means of establishing legitimate government and exercising control overthe nation’s leaders. Girei (2009:9).1.10.3 The Police Force 10
  11. 11. As defined by Webster’s dictionary (2003:1496) defines Police Force as anorganized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime andenforcing law and order”1.10.4 Inter-Agency Co-operation A process in which two or more organization come together to solve aspecific problem or meet a specific need. It carries with it assumption that byworking together, agencies will increase their effectiveness, resource availabilityand decision- making capabilities - and thereby more effectively assist in theresolution of a problem. (Canham, 1967).1.11 Organisation of the Study This study is arranged into five chapters. Chapter one focuses onintroduction, statement of research problem, research questions, aim and objectiveof the study, significance of the study as well as scope and limitations. It alsocovers methodology and organisation of study. Chapter two examines current andrelated literature. Chapter three examines the roles of the two agencies in theelectoral process. Chapter four analyses major findings from primary data sources.Chapter five dwells on conclusion, recommendation and implementation strategies. 11
  12. 12. REFERENCESAlemika, E.O. et al (2010), Police Security and Democratic Governance in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited.Canhan, R.R. (1979), “Inter-agency Coordination and Rapid Community Growth”, (A paper presented at a Regional Centre for Applied Social Science and Community Development, in Alaska, Arizona)Ita, E.E. (2011), “Crime, Safety and Security and April 2011 Elections”, in Asiegbu, L.N., Critical issues in the 2011 General Elections in Nigeria, Ibadan: John publishers Ltd.Girei, A.H. (2009), “Credible Elections as Pre-Requisite for Good Governance in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospect”, (Individual Research Project Submitted to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, in Partial Fulfillment for the Award of the Member of the National Institute, mni)Federal Republic of Nigeria (2006), Independent National Electoral Commission, Electoral ActThe Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), as Amended, Lagos: Federal Government Printer.Laws of the Federal of Nigerian (1999), The Police Act (cap359)Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (1990), The Public Order Act (cap382)Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, (2003), Barnes and Woble Publishing Inc 12
  13. 13. InternetINEC (2012), “About INEC” from Retrieved 20/03/12.Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia, Retrieved 24/03/12. CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW2.1 Preamble The literature reviewed in this work focuses on these key variables namely:inter-agency co-operation (or collaboration) and the electoral process; the NigeriaPolice and the Independent National Electoral Commission; and the relationshipbetween two agencies. The process of democratization is more than just casting of votes. Toguarantee a free and fair election requires the collaboration of relevant stakeholdersof which the election management body, the security agency, the political parties,civil society groups and the voting public play their respective roles.2.2 General Review2.2.1 Inter-Agency Co-operation Mattersich and Monsey (as cited in Townsend and Shelly, 2008: 102) statesthat inter-agency co-operation is a “mutually beneficial and well definedrelationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve a common goal. 13
  14. 14. This relationship includes a commitment to mutual relationships and goals, ajointly developed structure and shared responsibility.” They assert that, Inter-agency co-operation also entails exercise of mutual authority and accountability forsuccess and sharing of resources and reward. Neyla et al (2005) while viewing inter-agency from a military perspectivewith regard to the United States of America defence policy, believed that it hasevolved pain-stakingly, beginning with the first Army Navy Board of 1903 duringthe Spanish-American War. They conclude however, that it remains “a work inprogress” as issues of span of control and authority are being redefined. Some scholars are of the view that Inter-agency co-operation is a crossagency collaboration that identifies record and disseminates information on relatedsources and services, identifies gaps and overlaps in services as well as areas ofagency expertise, and leads to strategic decision making that broadens thecollective capacities of participating agencies (Timmons et al 2005: 4) Best (2006) while identifying the various advantages accruable to inter-agency collaboration, explained that it affords parties to work together on theirown, to resolve problem through constructive dialogue and other activities likejoint projects. Collaboration enables parties to build trust, confidence and mutualrespect. It provides a platform for conflict parties-potential or actual-workingtogether on a number of identified common issues and themes, which intensify 14
  15. 15. communication and activities between them. This interaction is consummated atvarious levels- from interpersonal; groups; communities; national; regional touniversal levels. The underlying assumption is that those who co-operate are likelyto build bond of friendship and establish mutual respect among themselves. Inter-agency co-operation is operative when two or more organisations arewilling to act together to address a mutually identified security concerns, in thebelief that this will improve security information and support for effective service(Dabiprosad Majumdar,2006). It does not just mean putting people together, theremust be commitment because it is about results and has substantial policyimplications. In one sentence- it denotes government agencies working acrosssectoral boundaries to achieve goals that are symbiotic. Gray, (2002) classifies various collaborative projects, using a continuum thatrelates to how micro or macro the work or focus of the subject is. He identifiedthree grouping: overview concept, location related concept and service relatedconcepts. The Mosaic reports (2003) use the term “regional co-ordination” todescribe the macro or strategic level of cooperation and “integrated servicedelivery” describes collaboration at the operational or micro-levels. While thiscannot be faulted, it has suffered the problem of generalization. There are instanceswhich do not fit into the particular explanations. 15
  16. 16. A plethora of terminology has emerged to describe the collaborativeapproaches required namely: “inter-agency”, inter-Professional”, inter-sectoral”and partnership” being prevalent (Lloyd et al 2001). For instance Atkinson et al(2002) identifies five forms of multi-agency activity; decision-making groups;consultations and training; centre-based delivery; co-ordinated delivery and team-operational delivery. Nevertheless, these authors note the failure of many studies tolocate models of interagency collaboration within coherent theories of work(Atkison et al 2002). In addition, Daniels (undated) quotes Roger and Whetton’s (1968)distinction between co-operation (referring to relatively informal process involvingdeliberate relations between otherwise autonomous organisations for jointaccomplishment of individual goals) and co-ordination (..the process whereby, twoor more organisation create and use existing decision rules that have beenestablished to deal collectively with their shared task environment). Barrow et al, (2002) often treats cross-professional collaborative as a givenelement, an un-problematic practice represented in and idealistic fashion restingupon an implicit ideology of neutral benevolent expertise in the service of theconsensual, self-evident values” (Challis et all 1998:17). In consideration of the link between the agencies and the public they serve,Bardach (1998) looks at co-operation as involving, “joint activities by agencies 16
  17. 17. that are intended to increase public values by working together.” He howeverrecognizes that the nature of joint activity is diverse and that for co-operationprocess with tensions and identifies as well as insights and innovation (Puonti,2004: 100). There are two categories of literature on inter-agency working that focusupon recommending ‘good practice’ and which, consequently, offer very limitedtheoretical or conceptual framing. Firstly, there is policy/strategic literature, whichexhorts professionals to engage in inter-agency initiatives and tends to promote ‘ateleological discourse that depict all ‘joined up working’ as a progressively linearsolutions’ to social exclusion (Allen, 2003). These include: Audit Commission,1998; Barrow, 2002, DfES.2002; Frye and Webb, 2002; Wittington,2003.Secondly, there is a proliferating body of papers that describe or evaluateindividual interagency initiative, tracing development at strategic and/ oroperational levels, e.g. Lloyd et at, Peck et al, 2002; Walker and Hex, 2002; Harkeret al, 2004. Both of these types tend to dissolves into prescriptions of goodpractice, recommending particular models, processes or working principles.Atkinson et al (2002: 3-10) review of literature on inter-agency workingsummarises the factors commonly cited as impacting upon the effectiveness ofinteragency operation. What is apparent from these themes is that a large 17
  18. 18. proportion of the current literature focuses upon systematic concerns, oftenequating interagency working with analysis of ‘partnership’ structures. The default position of the evaluation or analysis contained in this literatureis a non-conflictual model of inter-agency working, in which effectivecollaboration is dependent upon damping down conflicts and internal tensions.This levels of literature is minimally concerned with the forms of professionallearning that takes place within inter-agency working that are located withincoherent theories of work organisations in practice.2.2.2 The Electoral Process The integrity of the electoral process is fundamental to any democraticevolution: the electoral system and process must be robust to guard against avariety of fraudulent behavior and must be sufficiently transparent that majority ofvoters and candidates can accept the result of an election (KOHNO, Stubble fieldand Walash 2003). Another author. Kohno et al (2003:1) posits that a good votingsystem must satisfy the following criteria: anonymity of a voter’s ballot must bepreserved, both to guaranty the voters safety when voting against a malevolentcandidate, and to guarantee that voters have no evidence to prove which candidatereceived their vote. The concluding seminar report of the senior executive course 31 (2010)stated in their report that different electoral processes and systems are adopted in 18
  19. 19. different countries based on their democratic experience and development. It ispreferable that a country choses the model that best suits its conditions, history andpolitical environment, but that will also contribute towards the deepening ofdemocratic governance. The electoral process include the establishment of the electoral body, itsfunctions and responsibilities, voters registration, polling/elections, announcementof result after collection of results etc. Maduagwu and Mohammed (2004), observes that elections in Nigeria aremarred by poor administration and organization of the electoral process, poorcommunication of election result, control of voter registration, poor funding ofelections and institution in charge of elections, rigging as well as the manipulationof ethnicity and religion to influence the electoral outcomes. As Roberts (2011) states in his article, Election Administration inDemocratic Transitions, “the failure to conduct an election that is adjudged fair byall sides can pre-empt a democratic transition. Repeated failures can lead toviolence and chronic instability. Where such failure have been a risk, internationaltechnical assistance in election administration has served to tutor and support sothat conflict is not engendered by administrative or other technical deficiencies.While Robert may have been right to have indicated the need to secure elections inorder that votes and the process becomes free, he is looking for an exogenous 19
  20. 20. problem to endogenous problem. His view is largely an Eurocentric approach topeace and security. In discussing the electoral process in Nigeria, theCommonwealth, IFES and United Nations (2007) report states: The deepening of democracy in any country is always a work in progress. International experience shows that existence of a peaceful electoral management body with effective control over all aspects of the electoral process and commanding the respect of the society as a whole, especially political parties, is a best guarantee of the integrity of a country’s democratic system.Unfortunately for us in Nigeria, our democratic institutions are still very weak andeasily get manipulated by strong public figures through the use of economic power,religion, ethnic sentiments etc, making a mockery of the peoples universal adultsuffrage. Universal adult suffrage is a voting system in which all qualified adults areallowed to vote irrespective of their wealth, education and affiliation (Adative1979) Yet Barry (1996:280) asserts that many sociological studies on votingbehavior have revealed evidence of ignorance on the part of the electorate.Schumpeter (in Igweonu 2004) argued that democratic citizenship that is necessaryfor democracy must meet certain minimum conditions. He concludes that mostdemocracies failed because of independence granted to individual voters toparticipate in elections. 20
  21. 21. 2.2.3 A Brief on the Role of the Police In its report on the 2003 general elections, a group of international observergroup state as follows: Political parties, whatever their hue, are tempted to manipulate the electoral system to their advantage; if they can get away with it. It is essential therefore that the electoral process is effectively insulated from undue interference by the executive and the ruling party (Commonwealth Sec, IFES and UN, 2003). All political parties whether in power or in opposition if given theopportunity will try to bend the rules in other to win at all cost. Therefore, it is notonly the ruling party that is guilty of this malaise. Besides the Police Act (cap 359)Laws of the Federation 1990 other legalinstrument which provide for Police roles in the election include the ElectoralAct(2010) as amended, the Criminal Code (1990) as amended and the PoliceService Commission (PSC) guidelines (2003). The PSC guidelines offer the mostelaborate scope for police involvement in the electoral process and particularlyhinge the success of elections in the country on the conduct of police officers onelection duty. It specifies it’s key functions as (i) Safeguarding the security of persons and their property during campaign period and voting. (ii) Ensuring the safety of electoral officers, before, during and after elections. 21
  22. 22. (iii) Providing security for candidates during campaigns and elections. (iv) Ensuring and preserving a free, fair, safe and lawful atmosphere for campaigning by all parties and candidates, without discrimination. (v) Maintaining peaceful conditions, law and order around the polling and counting centers (vi) Providing security for electoral officials at voting and counting (vii) Ensuring the security of election materials at the voting and counting centers and during transportation thereto (PSC 2003:9 - 11). The Electoral Act defines what constitute electoral offences and assigns therole of security during the electoral process to the Police. Noteworthy is the factthat the Act deals with offences before and after actual voting. As observed byIMG(2010:2) the building up to 2003 and 2007 elections were characterized by thepolitical violence, including assassination of prominent political figures, attemptedmurder of political opponents and disruption of campaigns events. As part of its duties, the INEC publishes periodic guidelines for everyelection. These guidelines, though not directed at the Police, vests theresponsibilities of ensuring order at the polling station on the presiding officer andcompel police personnel serving at the polling station to take orders from thepresiding officer. Though well attended, it does not permit the police to takeinitiative in the face of security challenges. 22
  23. 23. According to Chukwuma (2010:61), these guidelines as published by INECis a potential area of conflict between the police personnel and INEC officials.Consequently, it could mar the electoral process when the two main stakeholdersdisagree openly in the event of a security challenge. Nevertheless, the Policeauthority briefed their personnel to accordingly take instructions from the presidingINEC official, but to act proactively in the event of a clear breach of the law.Subsuming the police officers under the control of the presiding officers is not anegation of their powers, but a necessary human rights safeguard to avoid abuse oftheir powers. Igbinovia (2011:0) has distilled duties of the Nigeria Police Force duringelections into four broad areas as: (a) Order and Internal Security Management (b) Law Enforcement (c) Service Delivery and (d) Electoral Mandate Implementation and EnforcementFor the Police to perform these duties credibly before, during and after elections, itmust partner INEC through the following I. Pre - Election Activities A series of conferences, seminars and meeting must be held between the PoliceINEC and Civil Society Organizations, the Media, other Security agencies, the 23
  24. 24. Political Parties and the Government at various levels. The main objective of thisaction is to achieve an appreciable level of understanding of all issues involved inthe electoral process and thus reduce areas of possible discord. II. Registration of Voters The police must be familiar with all aspects of the electoral laws, rules andguidelines relating to the registration and review of voters registers. Lack of suchknowledge or non - involvement of the Police in this exercise could lead tomultiple registration, registration by proxy and registration of under- aged youthsas well as deceased persons. The ad-hoc staffs of INEC to be engaged in this exercise need to themselvesbe screened before employment, otherwise, loyal party agents will be deployed bythe party in power to compromise the exercise. Nwosu (2010) submits that duringhis tenure as INEC chairman he was able to, through vigilance reduce the bloatedregister of 75million to 39 million eligible voters.III. Regulation of political campaigns The police have a duty to regulate political campaigns and rallies by politicalparties, otherwise political thugs will unleash a reign of terror on politicalopponents and communities that deny support to dominant political parties. Toensure orderly conduct of campaign and rallies as well as equity in use of venues,the police issue permits, on application, authorizing the campaigns/rallies at venues 24
  25. 25. and times specified in such a permit. Commissioners of Police derive power toissue such a permit from Public Order Decree5 of (1979) as amended (now anAct). Through the issuance of such permits, orderly conducts as well as avoidanceof carrying offensive weapons and use of obscene languages at such events arechecked, through strict monitoring. A level playing ground is ensured for allparties.2.2.4 A Brief on the Role of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Section 153 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria listsINEC as one of the fourteen Federal Bodies while section 15 of the third scheduleto the same constitution spells out the functions of the Commission. In an article, “INEC and the Management of Elections: Lessons fromNigeria” Kwaja (2008) maintained that management of elections by bodies such asthe INEC in Nigeria occupies a significant and strategic position in the electionprocess, and, by implication, the consolidation of electoral democracy. He insistedthat since such institutions are responsible for organising democratic elections,their actions and inactions could make or mar elections. The primary goal of anyelections management body is to organise free, fair and credible elections with anoutcome that is considered acceptable by all stakeholders.While there are goodprovisions in the Nigerian 1999 Constitution for the Commission, there are alsobad provisions in the same legal document. For example, Section 156 (1) (a) of the 25
  26. 26. Constitution provides that those to be appointed as electoral commissioners mustbe qualified to be members of the House of Representatives, implying that theperson must be a member of a political party. Adejuumobi, (2007) addressed thisinstance and describe it as institutional error. Such a provision does not in any wayinsulate INEC from being an institution that is partisan in its dealings, which alsohas serious implications for its functions as an independent and impartial umpire(Adejumobi, 2007). In other words, the outcome and results of its exercise mustreflect the wishes of the electorate. This is to say, their votes must count in thefinal analysis. For this to happen, the following are the requisite qualifications thatsuch body must possess. It must be independent, impartial, transparent andaccountable; that is, it must not act under the influence of any government,political party or organised group. The work by Chris captured the responsibility ofINEC. In the 2007 elections, INEC’s leadership concluded that its role in theelections made the entire exercise a huge success (Ezeani, 2007). This scholarreported the speeches of election managers and neglected the reality on ground. Onthe contrary, majority of the national and international election observer groups intheir reports on Nigeria 2007 elections concluded that INEC failed to deliver free,fair and credible elections (Yusuf, 2007; Human Rights Watch, 2007). The sections below examine INEC as an institution in the context of theextent of its independence, impartiality, transparency and accountability. In the run 26
  27. 27. up to the April 2007 elections, Yusuf clearly illustrated the rigging structure of thegovernment in power and concluded there was total violation of electoralguidelines and therefore there was no free and fair election. Human Rights Watchreport mapped out the various reports of the opposition parties. While some of thequeries are true, most of the conclusions by these observers can be faulted sincethere where many instances where elections took place under free and fairconditions and both the winners and losers agreed with outcomes. The proper guidelines for the observation of elections are published by INEC.In this document INEC spelled out clearly the mandate of the observer groups andtheir limitations. The document states that election observation should ideallyfocus on the whole electoral processes. However, such an approach has immensecost implications and most Observers focus on the Election Day seeing it as areflection of how the electoral process has evolved. To that extent, it represents areasonable point of engagement and this guideline focuses mainly on observing thevoting and result collation process. However, Observers would be well advised topool resources in order to enable them to follow those activities that precede andfollow balloting which may affect their overall assessment of the elections.Furthermore, a primary focus of election observation is whether the elections arecarried out substantially in accordance with the rules and regulations that areprescribed by law in the country in which they take place. However, election 27
  28. 28. observation is not limited to this, as it also seeks to compare these national lawsagainst international standards to ensure that they conform to basic thresholds ofdemocratic elections as accepted by the international community. Such observationwill also take into account the performance of the election managers, the level ofindependence given to them by law and also the attitude of the government inenforcing the election law and maintaining law and order. All these will offer anObserver a clear picture of the quality of the election process.2.3 Case Study Review There is no gainsaying, the fact that in the past series of elections held inNigeria between 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011,activities of thugs have taken a centrestage thereby breeding a feeling of resentment among members of the public. Theactivities of thugs are not noticeable in only one party; all political parties areguilty of this. Each political party in trying to wrestle power from the other orremain in power ahead of the others engages in this condemnable act. Thuggery isnot known or experienced in only one part of the country, it is everywhere in thecountry. Indeed, hardly will one pick a national daily in a week without finding aheadline about thuggery. Within the nation, different groups exist,formed andmaintained by politicians before, during and after elections with the aim tointimidate, harass, distort and to perpetrate whatever activities that would give 28
  29. 29. political advantage to party candidate over their opponents. (EU ElectionObservation mission 2011 report) It is reported that in the Northern part of Nigeria, Karare a brand of Hausaword referring to a group of people,mostly youth between the ages of 8 – 35 years,some of whom are in secondary schools or school drop-outs. These youths are usedby politicians during campaigns and elections in some sections of Northern Nigeriato intimidate voters and political opponents into accepting the position of theirsponsors. They are violent, unemployed and mostly drug addicts. Similar groupexist in Kano known as “yandaba”. In Kaduna, they are called Kawaye or yanmage while in Borno, they are known as ecomog, in Bauchi, they are called sarasuka. In Lagos, they are called area boys.( Kabiru, 2010). History has it that theyan akusa also known as yan dabaor banga in Kano were used in the FirstRepublic by theNorthern Peoples’ Congress (NPC) to check the winning streak ofNEPU Kabiru, (2010). The same phenomenon today repeats itself as most of thesegroups are formed as “ foot soldiers” to fight in the struggle for political power.Writing on political thuggery and violence in Nigeria a political scientist capturedthe wave of thuggery (Lawal, 2010), thus: Without doubt, Nigerian politics has since independence,been characterized by thuggery and violence. Little wonder,politics is conceived as a dirty game and exclusive right of thugs and hooligans in Nigeria. Consequently, Nigeria politics manifest in acrimony, assault, assassination,intimidation, harassment, maiming 29
  30. 30. and killing. This trend is not a phenomenon of decency; thuggery, brutality and violence (sic) political behaviour have been with us for the past four decades. Immediately after independence, the politicians, in an attempt to capture, exercise, and retain power within their regional settings involved themselves in various acts that were politically immature, unwise and distratrous (sic)”. Styles that are antithetical to democratic tenents and good governance areadopted. In this regard they recruite, train and empower thugs to harass, intimidateand victimize perceived political opponents and opposing views against theirpolitical ambition. This culture of thuggery has not only been imbibed andsustained as part of the country’s political behaviour since independence to thepresent moment, it has been one of the potent causes of the low participation ofwomen in politics. Findings in available data in the conduct of the 2007general electionsequally show the prevalence of the activities of thugs and how in some cases eitherclearly overpowered the security operatives who were on duty on election days orsimply, got the cooperation of these same security operatives to perpetrate theiractivities.In the 2007 general elections held in April, the National Human RightsCommission (NHRC) CLEEN and TMG monitored the conduct of securitypersonnel in each of the six (6) geopolitical zones involving eighteen States of theFederation and the Federal Capital Territory. In the main, the report (UNDP,2007), indicate that in a number of States security personnel were over powered by 30
  31. 31. thugs who snatched ballot boxes in some polling stations.While in some States,some security personnel were indifferent to various electoral offences like multiplevoting,under aged voting, impersonation and snatching of ballotboxes. Detailed part of the report relevant to this work for present purpose showsthat in the North-Central zone comprising Plateau, Benue and Niger, it wasobserved that there was disruption of voting by militant armed youths. At UnityGate polling station Gindiri V ward in Plateau State and in Benue State, thugsoverpowered security agents and electoral officials at the Government Housepolling station and snatched away ballot boxes. Violence resulted and a free-for-allfight ensued, which made voters run away (NHRC, 2007). In North West Zone covering Kano, Katsina and Sokoto monitored, cases ofballot box snatching amongst other offences were noticed (NHRC, 2007),South-South Zone monitors covered Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers State. Some of the electoraloffence noticed involved snatching of ballot boxes. At Okada in Ovia North EastLocal Government Area of Edo State; thumb printing of ballot papers by electoralofficers and party thugs were observed. In Rivers State as well, intimidation ofvoters by stern looking party thugs took place. Also a police officer (female)watched helplessly while ballot boxes were being stuffed by party agents. The story is not different from what was observed in the South West Zonewhere Lagos, Ogun and Oyo were monitored. Cases of snatching of ballot boxes at 31
  32. 32. gun point were noticed as well as ballot box stuffing and intimidation of voters.Indeed, in Ibadan, Oyo States, men and women of the Nigeria Police Force werereported to collude with party agents and electoral officers to rig election andintimidate voters.In the South East Zone where Anambra, Enugu and Abia weremonitored, it was observed that cases of snatching of ballot boxes and alteration ofelection result abound. It was reported that in one of the polling stations inAnambra State,one Festus Eze of the Nigerian Police Force was seen thumbprinting ballot papers in favour of one of the political parties. This phenomenon of political thuggery is therefore commonplace andpresently represents a common feature in political elections in the country. WhileNigerians variously cried and shouted foul in the 1999 general election because ofacts of thuggery, little did anyone know that 2003 was going to be worse. As itremained the worry and concern of Nigerians for good governance, it is remarkablethat the electoral system improved in the 20011 general elections.2.4 Nigeria Police Force/Independent National Electoral Commisssion Relations In actual performance, the examination of existing literature shows that thesecurity agencies, particularly the police, have not only failed to provide adequatesecurity for the electoral process but have themselves become a central element ofthe security problems associated with the history of elections in the country. Mostof the organisations which monitored previous elections generally indict the 32
  33. 33. security forces and report that security agents were out to collaborate with andprotect the ruling party. The 2003 election in particular witnessed the complicitrole of the security forces, as captured in the report of the Justice Development andPeace Commission ( JDPC): In most of the polling stations the security forces did nothing to prevent hijacking of ballot papers by political thugs … Rigging was peacefully done in the form of ballot box stuffing by mainly PDP party agents collaborating with polling officials … the ruling party … with the connivance of some INEC officials and the security officers, unleashed fearsome intimidation against its opponents and succeeded in carrying out massive rigging of elections… (JDPC 2003: 20- 37).Even though the work is highly limited to selected areas, it gives us a clue of whattranspired in the 2003 elections. The writers claimed that under such conditions,both opposition parties and election observers agreed that security agents haveaided the victory of the ruling PDP in all the elections. It will be absolutely wrongto assume that there were not instances in which security agencies resisted theassault on the electoral process. Unfortunately some of them had to pay thesupreme price as they were killed. Till date they remain unsung heroes ofdemocracy. One documented instance was the killing of police officers in Ofu andIdah local government areas of Kogi State (Vanguard, 15 April 2007). Asdocumented by Egwu (2007: 289), there was an overall balance of terror across thestate between the two main contending political parties, the People’s Democratic 33
  34. 34. Party (PDP) and the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), both of which resorted tothe use of armed party militias. Again it was the particular case of Kogi state thatSam Egwu had concerntrated his work on. However, most of the experiences seemto replicate in other places with similar characteristics. The detrimental implications of this institutional failure are colossal for goodgovernance in the country. The inability of the police to contain rampant politicalviolence during elections exacerbates the disenfranchisement of women andvulnerable groups in the process, for instance, and consequently reduces the scopefor participatory democracy. In yet another widely-read work, Nwankwo (2007:63) highlights this point by showing that the use of violence (armed thugs andyouths) to intimidate opponents scared women out of competitive politics.Interestingly, among the police, female officers are most vulnerable in the face ofarmed thugs. During voting in the 2003 election in Borno State, it was noted thatGovernor Ali Modu Sheriff employed violent gangs (the so-called ECOMOG orSAS Super Youths) to wrestle power from the former governor, Mr Kachalla. In theprocess of this campaign of violence, female police officers were assaulted(Mu’azu 2007: 223-230) and the police did not have the capacity to take measuresagainst such incidents. Both Nwankwo (2007) and Mu’azu (2007) analysed theemployment of brutal force in the race to win elections and the implication on thefemale officers of the Force. While many observers find the literatures very 34
  35. 35. exciting and insightful, the role of election umpire (INEC) in the event of violenteruptions was left out completely. The authors concluded that such a situationguarantee mass rigging of elections. They are both right since there is no guaranteethat under such security vacuum, free and fair elections is to be expected. The literature also highlights the twin factors of police corruption andpolitical influence on the police which serve to undermine their effectiveness in theprovision of security for elections. It is argued that corruption within the policeorganisation makes the police highly susceptible to compromise and bribe-takingfrom wealthy politicians to influence the outcomes of voting in favour of pre-determined candidates. A particular case was noted in Borno State where the policecolluded with the ruling party and supervised electoral fraud by agents of the partyin the 2007 elections (Mu’azu 2007: 232). In Edo State, Abutudu and Obakhedo(2007: 252) observe that electoral violence was carried out by ‘big men’ (stateofficials) with their police escort and hired thugs in Etsako East, Benin, Ikpoba-Okha and Akoko Edo, leading to loss of lives and properties. Evidence from otherstates reveal similar trends: the politicisation of the police and how thatcompromised security and the credibility of elections. Reports from Kogi State(Egwu 2007: 289) show that the police, with support from some militarypersonnel, helped the current ruling party to victory in the state. The relationshipbetween the police and military on election security was even more complex in 35
  36. 36. some turbulent states. (Naagbanton 2007: 378). Naagbanton further confirms thefear earlier expressed by Nwankwo (2007) and Mu’azu (2007). These literaturesshare one blind spot, the implications of INEC’s silence and continuous defence ofsuch results in the electoral tribunals. The areas in which the police have been considered to have failed in electionsecurity are diverse and many. The report of the Electoral Reform Committee(ERC) set up by the Yar’adua Administration in August 2009 captures the sum ofpopular complaints against the police in relation to elections. The most frequentlycited allegations of police electoral misconduct include partisanship anddiscrimination against the opposition party; functional ineffectiveness to preventand contain electoral crime; and complicity in fraud through brutality, intimidation,vote snatching, among others (ERC Report 2008: 174). The report furthercompounds the crisis of legitimacy by both INEC and NPF. However, the variousrecommendations pay less attention to inter-agency collaboration between INECand NPF. It concluded that NPF should be reformed which is not out of point butless emphasis was made on the need for a better interface between the institutions.There have also been documented allegations of specific instructions from PoliceHeadquarters to all State Commands that its officers and men should ensure thesuccess of the PDP in recent elections (Ayoola, 2004: 1-2). The report of theEuropean Commission and Election Observation Mission (ECEOM, 2007) also 36
  37. 37. emphasizes the various dimensions of police partisanship: arbitrary arrest anddetention of opposition supporters before and during elections by the police,without charges; banning of rallies and campaigns mounted by the opposition; andflagrant impunity of violations committed by the members of the ruling party(PDP). Yet, in spite of this general failure of the police to guarantee security forelections across the country, the literature suggests a few instances where thepolice performed effectively in relation to electoral security. During the 2007election, Ighorodje (2007: 317) notes that the police displayed a high level ofprofessionalism during actual voting across Lagos State, and were so voter friendlythat they did not have to carry fire arms. This is a very interesting observationwhich suggests that the Nigeria police (or elements of them) could actuallyguarantee security for elections under certain conditions. It is therefore crucial toexplore the conditions under which the police have performed their statutorymandates effectively and to identify what factors facilitate or obstruct policeperformance with regards to election security.2.5 Gap in Literature Scholars and commentators on the theme of this research concentrate on theobservable discontent of the Nigeria Police Force and not her contribution toelectoral success. The emphasis of most published works lies on the structural role 37
  38. 38. of the police and not much is done on the functional aspect of the police inelections. Some scholars gloss over the fact that at the end of the day it is INECand its officials that collate and announce results through designated ReturningOfficers. Besides, the Presiding Officer at the polling booth vicinity is the boss andissues instructions to the Police personnel and not the other way round, yet thePolicemen are meant to take blame for INEC’s inefficiency. Apart from the general observations as stated above, there has not beenmuch work done on the theme of inter-agency cooperation in Nigeria. Where theyexist, the framework and theoretical approaches limits there extent. Therefore thispaper intends to document the peculiar case of inter-agency co-operation betweenINEC and the Nigerian Police. 38
  39. 39. REFERENCESAbdullahi, Y.S. (2008), “Planning Free and Fair Elections in Nigeria”, in Omodia, S.M. ed. Managing Elections in Nigeria. Keffi: Onaivi Printing and Publishing Company.Abutudu, M. and Obakhedo, N. (2007), “Mandate Theft and Retrieval: The 2007 Governorship Election in Edo State”, in Ibrahim, J. & O. Ibeanu, eds., Direct Capture: The 2007 Nigerian Elections and the Subversion of popular Sovereignty, Abuja: Centre for Democracy and DevelopmentAdetayo, O. Tribune Newspaper, “Nigeria at Cross Roads”, June 18th, 2010Adejumobi, S. (2007), “When Votes Do Not Count: The 2007 General Elections in Nigeria’, (A Publication of The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden)Akinyele, R.T. (2001), “Ethnic Militancy and National Stability in Nigeria: A Case Study of O.P.C”, African Affairs, 100 (100): 431-432Atkinson, M. et al (2002), Multi-Agency Working: a Detailed Study, Slough: National Foundation for Education Research.Ayinla, S. (2005), “Violence and Politics in Nigeria, 1999-2003: Evidences from Kwara State” in Ayinla, S. Ed., Issues in Political Violence in Nigeria. Ilorin: Hamson Printing.Ayoola, B. The Comet Newspaper, “Obasanjo Versus Buhari: Police Deny Order to Support PDP,” March 30th, 2004Balogun, T. (2003), “Nigeria: Electoral Violence and National Security”, Retrieved from: on February 9,2010.Bardach, E. (1994), “Can Network Theory Illuminate Inter-agency Collaboration?”, (A paper presented at Workshop Analysis and 39
  40. 40. Innovations in Public Programmes, Sept. 29th – Oct 1st., at Lafollete Institute of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Nladison.Banjo, A. (2005), “Constitutional and Succession Crisis in West Africa: The Case of Togo” African Journal of Legal Studies, 2 (2): 56.Challis L. et al (1988), Joint Approaches to Social Policy: Rationality and Practice Cambridge: Cambridge University PressChubah, E. (2009), “Politically Motivated Killing and Social Conflicts in Nigeria: Implications for Democratic Stability” in Miriam, I. Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria: A Reader, Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.Danladi, K.(2011), “Curbing Thuggery, Hooliganism in the 2011 Elections”,, Retrieved 12th August, 2012.Egbu, R. Sunday Sun, “Free, Fair and Transparent Elections”, March 6th, 2011.Egwu, S. (2007), “Popular Struggles for Electoral Mandate Protection in Kogi State”, in Ibrahim, J. & O. Ibeanu, eds., Direct Capture: The 2007 Nigerian Elections and the Subversion of popular Sovereignty, Abuja: Centre for Democracy and DevelopmentEzeani, A. Guardian Newspaper, “In Defence of INEC”, June 11th, 2007Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), Constitution Section 153(f)Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), Constitution Section 14(2).Human Rights Watch. (2003), “Nigeria: Political Violence Increasing before Election,” from:, Retrieved October 23, 2010.Human Rights Watch (2007), “Criminal Politics: Violence, “Godfathers” and Corruption in Nigeria”, HRW Report, 19 (16)Huntington, S. P. (1991), The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. London: University of Oklahoma PreOjo, O. (1999), “Military and Language and Democratization in Nigeria”, in Dele Olowu, A. Williams and K. Somerekun, eds., Governance and Democratization in West Africa, Dakar: CODESRIA 40
  41. 41. Ibeziako, S.M. (1963), “Police power in Nigeria”, ( Thesis Submitted to University of London in Partial Fulfillment Award of Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D).INEC (2005),Guidelines for Election Observation.Janda, K. B. J. and Goldman, J. (1997), The Challenge of Democracy. New York: Houghton Miffilin Company.JDPC (2003), Final Report on the Observation of the 2003 General Elections in Nigeria, Lagos: Catholic Secretariat of NigeriaLuckham, R. (2003), “Introduction: Democratic Strategies for Security Inransition and Conflict”,, in Cawthra, G. and R. Luckham, eds., Governing Insecurity: Democratic Control of Military and Security Establishments in Transitional Democracies, London: Zed BooksMassoud, O. (2000), “Local Elites, Democracy and Community Empowerment in Nigeria”, in A. Adedeji and B. Ayo Ed., People-Centred Democracy in Nigeria: The Search for Alternative System of Governance at the Grassroots , Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books.M.A Ojomo & Okagbue, I.E. (1991), Human Rights and the Administration of the Criminal Justice in Nigeria, Lagos: Nigerian Institute of Advance Legal StudiesMu’azu, A. (2009), “The 2007 Elections in Borno State”, in Ibrahim, J. & O. Ibeanu, eds., Direct Capture: The 2007 Nigerian Elections and the Subversion of popular Sovereignty. Abuja: Centre for Democracy and DevelopmentMoshood, B. (2009), “Election Rigging and Governance in Nigeria: An Appraisal”, LASU Journal of Humanities, 6(2): 56National Human Rights Commission (2007), Report.Ntalaja, G.N. (2000), Democracy and Development in Africa, Abuja: African Centre for Democratic Governance. Police, Security and democratic Governance in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Book Ltd. 41
  42. 42. Nwosu, H,N. (2010), “The Role of the Police and other Security Agencies in Electoral Process”, in Alemika, E.E.O. et at.,Obi, C. (2008), “Politics and Social Change”, in Anifowoshe, R. & F. Enemuo, Elements of Politics, Yaba: IroanusiPublications.Odofin, A.P. (2008), “Challenges for the Sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria”, LAPAI Journal of Humanities, 2(1): 56Oloko, S.O. (2007), And the West Went Wild. Lagos:Moteseun Publishers.Olurode, L. (1990), A Political Economy of Nigeria’s 1983 Elections. Lagos: John West PublicationsOmodia, S.M. (2008), “Background Perspective to Understanding the Management of Elections in Nigeria”, in: S.M. Omodia Ed., Managing Elections in Nigeria, Keffi: Onaivi Printing and Publishing Company.Police Service Commission, Guidelines for the conduct of Police Officers on Electoral Duty in Nigeria 2007 General Elections.Puonti, A. (2004), “Learning to Work Together: Collaboration Between Authorities in Economic Crime Investigation”, (Thesis Submitted to the Department of Education, Centre for Activity Theory and Developmental work Research in Partial Fulfillment for the Award of Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D).Regan, P. M. & Henderson, E. A. (2002), “Democracy, Threats and Political Repression in Developing Countries: Are Democracies Internally Less violent?”, Third World Quarterly, 23 (1): 119-36Snyder, J. (2000), From Voting to Violence: Democratisation and Nationalist Conflict. New York: W. W. Norton & CompanyTamuno, N.T. (1969), The Police in modern Nigeria. Ibadan: University Press.Tolu, L. (2010), “Political Thuggery and Violence in Nigeria: The Bane of women participation in politics”, accessed on 42
  43. 43. andviolence-in-nigeria-the-bane-of-womenparticipation-in-politics- 3649506. Retrieved, 19/11/2010.Vanguard, 15 April 2007Yusuf, B. (2007), “Legitimacy and Good Governance: The Role of Elections”, ( A Paper Presented at National Policy Dialogue Organised by Action Aid, Nigeria on Wednesday 18 July, at Dennis Hotel, Abuja). 43
  44. 44. CHAPTER THREECHALLENGES OF INTER AGENCY CO - OPERATION BETWEEN THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE AND THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION3.1 Preamble A review of the history of election in Nigeria shows that a strongrelationship exists between election management bodies (EMBs), in this caseINEC and security agencies (as represented by the Police) and legal provisions thatguide the conduct of elections. Conducting free, fair and credible elections is ofcrucial significance in the sustenance of a viable democratic system. The task ofensuring the conduct of credible elections is the collective responsibility ofnumerous stakeholders, which are the pillars upon which democracy stands. Theyinclude, but are not limited to INEC, Political Parties, the Candidates, Civil SocietyGroups, the Law Enforcement Agencies and the Media, etc. They are all critical tothe electoral process. A most important pillar that is often neglected, but which isof very crucial importance is the depth of the nexus between INEC and the Policein bringing about a peaceful election by protecting the integrity of elections.Therefore this chapter will explore the nature of inter agency cooperation betweenthe Police and INEC. 44
  45. 45. 3.2 Elections in Nigeria: A Journey through History3.2.1 First Republic (1960 - 1966) Electoral malpractice manifested itself between 1964 - 1966 when twohighly respected politicians from the south west of Nigeria engaged themselvesfiercely in a political battle for the control of that region. These politicians wereChief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief S.L Akintola. The first indigenous Inspector - General of police Mr. Louis Edet, in a reportbroadcast on the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation Network in December 1965compared the pre - independence election of 1959 and the post-independence of1965 this: The general election of 1959 and the general election of 1964 have two very notable and striking dissimilates. In 1959, the battle was of words; in 1964 the battle was one of deeds, sometimes felonies deeds. It is not to the credit of this great country that violence has been introduced into our politics to the extent of shedding blood.(Tammuno, 1991).3.2.2 Second Republic (1979 - 1984) Electoral malpractice during the 1979 elections that returned the country tocivil rule was minimal, though political violence occurred in isolated places. Thiswas principally because the election was conducted under a military regime. The1983 election witnessed massive electoral malpractices. 45
  46. 46. 3.2.3 Third and Fourth Republic (1992 - 2004) During the aborted republic, electoral malpractices were not quitenoticeable. The elections were anchored by Prof. Humphery Nwosu - led NECON,acclaimed nationally and internationally as the best so far in the electoral history ofNigeria. The 1999 transition to civil rule was relatively smooth. However, the Fourthrepublic witnessed a lot of electoral fraud resulting in political violence in severalparts of the country. In the 2003 general elections, electoral fraud was taken to anew and frightening level. Political assassination became rife claiming in 2001 thelives of such notable political figure as Chief Bola Ige, the then Minister of Justiceand Attorney General of the Federation. A violent political culture took centre -stage (IRG 2,2004)3.3 The 2007 General Elections Incumbent political office holders bent on retaining political godsonsundermined the electoral process. President Olusegun Obasanjo, set the stage byscheming on running for a third term in breach of the constitution instead ofplaying the role of a statesman. (Omotosho, 2007)3.4 The 2011 General Elections The coming of Prof. Attahiru Jega as the new chairman of INEC gave hopethat 2011 general election will not be manipulated, on account of his professional 46
  47. 47. antecedents. Besides the assurances he gave that votes of the electorate will count,positive amendments to the Electoral Act further raised the hope of the electoratefor a free, fair and transparent process. All stakeholders were carried along in the preparations for the elections,resulting in massive mobilization. Following the creation of an atmosphere ofsincerity and visible efforts to create a level playing ground for the political parties,a massive voter’s registration ensued. A very close partnership between the Nigeria Police Force and INEC wasforged from the onset, resulting in better organized elections than previously held(Leadership April 16, 2011:4). Nevertheless, some enemies of democracy made desperate effort to derailthe electoral process by resort to violence. Fatal assaults to persons and property,bombings and assassinations were recorded across the country before, during andafter elections. The orgy of violence that trailed the campaign train of opposingpolitical parties culminated in deaths and loss of property from Jos to Calabar andfrom Lagos to Maiduguri. The most remarkable of these pre - election violenceoccurred on 17th April 2011 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Clashes between partysupporters of the PDP and ACN during a campaign rally of the ACN gubernatorialcandidate resulted in eight deaths. Property lost included 25 houses and about 600brand new cars and tricycles burnt. (Leadership April 19,3011:1) 47
  48. 48. There was massive post-election violence soon after the presidential electionof April 16, 2011, which spread like a wild fire across the northern parts of Nigeria,starting from Gombe. As reported by Newswatch magazine: Post-election violence broke out in many Northern States, but it was particularly bad in Kano and Kaduna. It was spread to other parts of the northern states of Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Borno, Niger etc. in Kaduna, youths erected road blocks and set up bonfires, attacked and burnt PDP offices, houses and properties including cars belonging to PDP and pro - PDP politicians in these states. (Newswatch magazine of May 2, 2011:2) The Leadership newspaper of April 20,2011:1 reported that no fewer than121 people died including 10 NYSC members. In contrast to condemnation of previous elections, especially in 2003 and2007 accredited local and international observers including the Commonwealth,the European Union (EU) National Democratic Institute and the InternationalDemocratic Institute unanimously endorsed the elections as credible. In its final report on the 2011 general elections, the European UnionElection Observation mission stated as follows; The courts made commendable efforts to timely adjudicate the volume of petitions filed at the pre - election period. Nevertheless the lack of deadline for filling, consideration and determination of complaints prior to polling trailed the results of the primaries, producing a large number of judgments delivered by courts only a few days before the polls or even after. The high number of pending petitions had 48
  49. 49. negative effect to the voters awareness of the electoral contestants.3.5 The Role of Electoral Management Body and Security Agencies in the Electoral Process3.5.1 The Role of INEC in the Electoral Process The constitutional powers of INEC arise from Part I of the 3 rd schedule tothe 1999 constitutions, which prescribe that the commission shall have power to: (a) organize, undertake and supervise all elections to the offices of the President and Vice President, the Governor and Deputy Governor of a State, and to the membership of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the House of Assembly, (b) register political parties in accordance with the provisions of this constitution and any act of the National Assembly, (c) monitor the organization and operation of the political parties including their finances, (d) arrange for the annual examination and auditing of the funds and accounts of political parties and publish a report on such examination and audit for public information, (e) arrange and conduct the registration of persons qualified to vote and prepare, maintain and revise the register of voters for the purpose of any election under this Constitution, 49
  50. 50. (f) monitor political campaigns and provide rules and regulations which shall govern the political parties, (g) ensure that all Electoral Commissioners, Electoral and Returning Officers take and subscribe to the oath of office prescribed by law, (h) delegate any of its powers to any Resident Electoral Commissioner, and (i) carry out such other functions as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National AssemblyFunction of INEC under the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) (a) Conduct voter and civic education, (b) Promote knowledge of sound democratic election processes, and (c) Conduct any referendum required to be conducted pursuant to the provision of the 1999 Constitution or any other law or Act of the National Assembly3.5.2 Role of NPF in the Electoral Process Due to the varied nature of security problems relating to elections, the roleof NPF in the electoral process can have many facets. In other words, it is amultiple and varied role. The intervention of NPF is necessary at all stages of theelectoral process and concerns all key stakeholders as well as the major actors inthe process. That is why, to ensure the integrity of the electoral process, the NigeriaPolice Force is responsible, at every stage of the process, for the protection ofpersons and property, election materials, officials and institutions involved in the 50
  51. 51. process (TMG, 2003). The Force, besides ensuring the security of the electoralprocess at all stages, can also be involved, if need be, in the resolution of certainlogistic problems. In spite of their multiple and varied nature, tasks that may be entrusted to theNPF to ensure the security of the electoral process can be grouped into (03)categories. These are mainly (i) static functions (for example, protection ofbuildings), (ii) dynamic functions (for example, security of transportation ofelection materials) and (iii) stand-by functions (i.e. stand-by forces that can bemobilized at any time, if need be). The tasks of the Police during elections—canalso be analyzed based on each of the three (03) stages of the electoral process.Under this study and in order to appreciate these roles a chronological approachwill be adopted while assessing the role of NPF at the(a) pre-electoral stage, (b) thevoting day and (c)the post-electoral stage.3.5.3 Objectives of Electoral Security i. Physical security of buildings and materials, ii. Personal security of voters, candidates, representatives of political parties and that of the body responsible for the management of elections and the community in general3.5.4 The Powers of the Police The Functions and Powers of the Police (Section 4 of the Police Act) include 51
  52. 52. (i) Prevention and detection of crime, (ii) Apprehension of offenders, (iii) Preservation of law and order, (iv) Protection of life and property, (v) Enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are charged.3.5.5 Role of the Nigeria Police Force in Elections The role of the Nigerian Police in elections include the following: (i) Provide security at the polling stations and collation centers to ensure that the polling, counting of ballots and collation and declaration of results are conducted without any disturbance. (ii) Take all necessary measures to prevent violence or any activity that would threaten to disrupt the elections. (iii) Comply with any lawful directive issued by or under the authority of INEC (iv) Ensure the safety and security of all election materials by escorting and guarding the materials, as appropriate. (v) Protect the election officials at the polling stations and collation centers (vi) Arrest on the instruction of the Presiding Officer or other INEC officials any person (s) causing any disturbance or preventing the smooth conduct of proceedings at the polling stations and collation centers. 52
  53. 53. (vii) At the polling station, inform the Presiding Officer if they believe that any voter is under age of 18 years or has committed an offence of impersonation.(viii) Accompany the Presiding Officer to deliver the election results, ballot boxes and other election materials safely to the LG (ward) collation centre.(ix) Protect the integrity of the electoral process(x) Safeguard the security of persons and their properties before, during and after elections(xi) Secure an orderly atmosphere at polling stations so that people will feel free to cast their votes unmolested and in secrecy.(xii) Provide a conducive environment for political parties to carry out their campaigns(xiii) Provide security for candidates and political parties before, during and after elections.(xiv) Secure the perimeters of polling stations and collation centers(xv) Retain copies of results announced by the Presiding Officers and returning Officers. 53
  54. 54. 3.6 The Role of International Organisations The report of the Electoral Reform Committee (2008) states that theinternational organizations play the role of watchdog through election observationin Nigeria. However, the organization play several roles in emerging democracieslike Nigeria. This includes ensuring peaceful conduct of elections in collaborationwith EMBs as earlier mentioned in the preamble. There is a synergy betweeninternational organization in the provision of funds, security and other logisticstowards successful electoral process. Generally, international organizations may beclassified into two broad categories. The first group consists of institutions offoreign governments, regional and international agencies. Example of these areBritain, United States of America, Canada, Germany, etc; African Union;Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); European Union; theCommon Wealth Secretariat and Organs of the United Nations e.g. United NationDevelopment Programme (UNDP), United Nations Electoral Assistance Division(UNEAD). In the second category are the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)like the International Federation of Electoral Studies (IFES), National DemocraticInstitute (NDI), International Republican Institute (IRI), The Carter Centre,International Crisis Group (ICG) and Human Rights Watch (HRW). In emergingdemocratic societies like Nigeria and most African, Latin America, Asia and 54
  55. 55. Eastern European Nations, the international organizations play diverse rolesincluding provision of human, financial, technical and material assistance. Duringthe 1999, 2003 and 2007, 2011 Elections, Nigerian Government and CivilSocieties received significant financial assistance from the UNDP, United StatesAgency for International Development (USAID). Assistance to domestic NGOs ismainly for civil education and domestic observation; the Commonwealth ofNations, and the European Union (EU) deploy observers during elections tostrengthen the institutional capacity to conduct credible elections. The roles of international NGOs in the electoral process of emergingdemocracies like Nigeria include technical assistance through information sharingwith the electoral commission and civil society organizations, training of electoralstaff and staff of NGOs on election observation. Some of them like the HRW andthe ICG monitor and issue reports on events and conditions before, during andafter election focusing especially on the credibility of the entire process. TheInternational NGOs have made valuable contributions to the conduct of electionsin Nigeria since 1999.3.7 Nigeria’s Legal Framework on Elections The National Legal Framework for the conduct of elections in Nigeriaconsists of: a. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 55
  56. 56. b. Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) c. Police Act, cap 19 laws of the Federation 2000 d. Guideline for the Conduct of Police Officers on Electoral Duty issued by the Police Service Commission e. Guidelines and Regulations for the Conducts of Federal, States and Area Council elections by INEC f. Electoral Acts, 2011 g. Other laws and regulations.3.8 Nigeria’s Election Management Bodies in Historical Perspective For modern democracies, the holding of periodic and regular elections whichhas become part and parcel of the process of expanding and deepening thedemocratic space, requires Election management Bodies (EMB) to conduct, andsupervise all elections within the polity. Electoral Management Bodies, whenproperly constituted and guaranteed requisite autonomy, promote transparency,ensure technical efficiency in electoral process, and give legitimacy to the electoralprocess in addition to stabilizing the polity. The nature and character of thesebodies as well as the way and manner they are established affect their performancecapacity (Report of the Electoral Reform Committee, 2008:97). 56
  57. 57. 3.8.1 The Evolution of Election Management Bodies in Nigeria Electoral bodies in Nigeria have a chequered history. Between 1958 to date,the country has had a total of six electoral bodies that have been reconstitutedeleven times as detailed below:Table 3.1 Election Management Bodies in Nigeria: 1958-Date NAME OF BODY CHAIRPERSON TENUREElectoral Commission of Nigeria (ECN Mr. R.E. Wraith 1958-1959Federal Electoral Commission (FEC) Eyo E. Esua 1964-1966Federal Electoral Commission Chief Michael O. Ani 1976-1979(FEDECO)Federal Electoral Commission Hon. V. Ovie-Whiskey 1980-1983(FEDECO)National Electoral Commission (NEC) Prof. Eme E. Awa 1987-1989National Electoral Commission (NEC) Prof. Humphrey Nwosu 1989-1993National Electoral Commission (NEC) Prof. Okon Edet Uya 1993National Electoral Commission of Chief Summer Dagogo-Jack 1994-1998Nigeria (NECON)Independent National Electoral Hon. Justice Ephraim O.O. 1998-2000Commission (INEC) AkpataIndependent National Electoral Dr. Abel I. Guobadia 2000-2005Commission (INEC)Independent National Electoral Prof. Maurice Iwu 2005-2009Commission (INEC)Independent National Electoral Prof. Attahiru M. Jega 2010- dateCommission (INEC)Source: Report of Electoral Reform Committee (Uwais Report, 2008) A cursory look at the history of the nation’s electoral bodies by the Report ofElectoral Reform Committee (2008) suggests a clear pattern that, although Nigeriawas one of the earliest African countries to evolve a centralized electoralmanagement system, this has not impacted positively on the nation’s political 57
  58. 58. process and therefore the institutionalization of democratic governance. Thefrequent changes in the nation’s electoral management system have not translatedinto an anticipated stable electoral process.3.9 Establishment of the Inter-Agency Committee A review of the history of election in Nigeria shows that a strongrelationship exists between Election Management Bodies (EMB) and securityagencies. The EMBs and the Nigeria Police Force regarded the conduct of nationalelection as a major national civil responsibility that required cooperation. As aresult many elections have been successfully prosecuted. This cooperation atcommittee level has always had two aspects: (i) Logistics and (ii) Security.3.9.1 Inter Agency Committees on Logistics for Election These are established at Federal, State, Local Government and Ward levels.The memberships of these committees are drawn from the Electoral Commission,Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Service, National Security and CivilDefence Corps, National Youth Service Corps, Political parties and Civil SocietyOrganizations. These committees assisted the Electoral Commission in thefollowing areas (Nwosu, 2010: 45). i. Identifying difficult terrains in different parts of Nigeria such as Brass in Bayelsa State, Mambilla in Taraba State, Ebba in Niger State and 58
  59. 59. Burutu in Delta State for movement of human resources and materials for election. ii. Identifying different modes of transportation of moving materials to all the 110,000 registration and voting centres in the country. iii. Assisting in the accurate codification of all polling stations in the country. iv. Assisting in the prompt and effective movement of electoral materials. v. Helping to ensure that all the rules guiding the conduct of elections, counting the ballots, collation of result are followed to the letter. vi. The presence of the police and other security agencies during voting and announcement of the results on the spot helped to make electoral outcomes credible, transparent, and acceptable to the members of the public.3.9.2 Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) This second committee, equally as important as that on logisticsconcentrates on security matters only. Consequent upon observed inadequacies ofserving the electoral process in the past on account of lack of co- operation, INECadopted this new strategy rather than deal with the security agencies on individualbasis with the inherent dangers of inter- service rivalry. This new approach ofbringing them together under one umbrella was adopted. In realization of the fact 59
  60. 60. that each security agency have different legal roles, professional inclinations andorganizational tendencies, effective security of elections require that agenciesidiosyncrasies be jettisoned in favour of inter - agency synergies. Mistakes have been made in the past by the national headquarters of INECAbuja in assuming that all state and local governments in the country face samesecurity challenges with regards to elections. On the contrary, peculiarities exist.Local Governments are uniquely equipped to take care of peculiar problems asthey arise. This new perspective of allowing ICCES at their level to train, plan, monitorand evaluate security development together without interference by the nationalheadquarters of INEC allowed them to cross - fertilize ideas and harvest richlyfrom such intercourse. Finally by de- centralizing, these agencies come up withhome - grown solutions due to their unique experience and apply themexpeditiously. The ICCES is not a legal structure but merely a consultative platform,designed to increase the level of consultation, co- ordination, harmonization andmanage declaration in election security management. As an advisory body, withthe police as the lead agency, all the benefits accruing therefrom as per the networktheory on inter - agency co - operation as outlined were made manifest. Amongthese benefits are economy of scale, a large pool of specialist on 60
  61. 61. firearms/ammunition, reduction in reaction time to distress situation, removal ofundemocratic bottlenecks especially in the areas of communication; elimination ofinter - agency rival and a marked and healthy increase in cordial relationships.Stated below are functions of ICCES: 1. Coordinate the design of an election security management system for INEC. 2. Develop locally - focused plans for providing security before, during and after elections. 3. Harmonize the training, deployment and actions of security personnel on election duties. 4. Asses existing security threats across the country that have implications for elections and produce a red, amber and green electoral security map for the country, which will regularly be updated. 5. Advice INEC on rapid response to security threats around elections, including voter registration. 6. Ensure a reduction in transaction costs to INEC of dealing with individual security agencies on issues of election. 7. Evaluate the performance of security agencies on election duties and recommend improvements and sanctions, where necessary.The structure of the ICCES at the national level and participating agencies are asfollows. 61
  62. 62. (i) Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) (ii) Nigeria Police Force (iii) Ministry of Police Afairs (iv) Nigerian Air Force (v) Nigerian Navy (vi) Nigerian Army (vii) State Security Service (viii) Nigeria Custom Service (ix) Nigeria Immigration Service (x) National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (xi) Federal Road Safety Corps (xii) Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (xiii) Nigerian Prison Service (xiv) INECThe structure at the State and local Government levels are same but office of theNSA, PSC, and Ministry of Police Affairs are not represented. In that regard, theCommissioner of Police of that State is the Chairman of the States ICCES aselection matters are purely civil in nature. 62
  63. 63. 3.10 Regulatory Links between INEC and Nigeria Police Force Nobody disputes the need to involve the NPF in the electoral process andtheir usefulness in guaranteeing the quality of the process provided thisinvolvement is done under the control of the INEC. To be effective and relevant, itwill have to be done within a quite specific and clear regulatory framework.Indeed, without a relevant legal framework, the involvement of NPF in theelectoral process could compromise the quality of its management. This legalframework should clarify the terms of cooperation between the electionmanagement body and the NPF. It should also be quite clear about the indicativetime of commencement of preparations by the NPF to participate in the electionsand the role of the INEC during this important phase. Finally, the involvement ofthe INEC in determining the necessary material and financial resources for theeffective participation of the Police may also be necessary. Beyond these majorissues, the legal framework should also focus on the chain of command of Policepersonnel involved in the electoral process. Given the hierarchical nature of theNPF and the importance of the principles of discipline and compliance withinstructions, clarification of the all these issues prior to the electoral process is ofparamount importance in the run up to the elections. It is, for example, veryimportant that the role of the INEC in ensuring the implementation of securityoperations be clearly defined and accepted by all. Finally, just to limit ourselves to 63
  64. 64. these few elements, the legal framework should go beyond regulating therelationships of cooperation and supervision between the Police and INEC. It couldalso take into consideration the relationship between the Police and all the otherkey institutions involved in the electoral process (FEF, 2007). These include, forexample, the judge handling electoral disputes, the institution responsible forregulating the media, Civil Society Organizations, political parties and candidates,etc. Overseeing the cooperation and collaboration between each one of theseinstitutions and the Nigerian Police Force can help secure the quality of theelectoral process. Indeed, a broader vision on the content of the electoral process iseasier to achieve within the context of a well developed electoral code than withdifferent electoral laws and other regulations scattered and sometimes incoherentfrom one document to the other. The issue of regulatory framework is veryimportant in view of the highly political nature of elections which may make itdifficult to carry out security operations. It is generally admitted by all that it israre for the best operational solution to be achieved at the political level and anoperational solution cannot be considered to be desirable if it does not deal withpolitical conditions. This situation requires not only cooperation between the INECand the NPF, but also the design of a framework establishing a minimum level ofcommunication among all key stakeholders in the electoral process in order to 64