Nigerian police plan to acquire stun guns and revise rules of engagement in an effort to curb the use of deadly force, the inspector general of the force said.
The West African country, which has a pivotal role in regional stability, is riven by security problems ranging from armed bandits to communal violence between nomadic herdsmen and farming communities in central states.
Last month, a United Nations special rapporteur described Nigeria as a “pressure cooker of internal conflict” due to security problems and what it said was an excessive use of lethal force by police and military.
Mohammed Adamu told senior officers in Abuja he “initiated actions” toward deploying less lethal weapons – stun guns – for low-risk police operations.
“This is with the intention of addressing public concerns on misuse of firearms by police and the attendant consequences on lives and effect on attainment of our community policing vision,” Adamu said, according to a speech distributed to media.
He did not say how much the stun guns would cost.
Adamu said the force revised and simplified “Force Order 237”, which outlines its rules of engagement.
He did not specify what changes were made saying the redesign would ensure “protection of fundamental human rights” in policing.
The force is arranging special training for specific units, including the counter-terrorism unit, anti-robbery and kidnapping squads and criminal investigation specialists.