Dr.Uche Mike Chukwuma, ACP, Rtd.

AUTHOR: Dr Uche Mike Chukwuma
PUBLISHER: Uma Dynamic Services Ltd, Port Harcourt
DATE: 2014
PAGES: 209
ISBN: 978-978-53604-1-7
PRICE: Not stated
Book REVIEWER: Karibi T. George, Esq., FNIPR, rpa; CT
A question I usually pose to my colleagues is: “If you were at the helm of affairs, how would you recognize or change the structures and operations of your organization for optimal performance?” A variation of the question is: “How would you stamp your imprint on the organization so as to secure the effectiveness and efficiency that you consider lacking?” That is the question which Uche Mike Chukwuma’s attempts to answer in the book Professionalism, Reform and the Nigeria Police Force.
Professionalism, Reform and the Nigeria Police Force is composed of seven chapters.
Chapter one is introduction. It juxtaposes the sophisticated methods employed by criminals against the primordial resources which the Police are expected to combat crime in Nigeria. It highlights the efforts, even if largely lame, by which government attempted to reverse the inequality between criminals and law enforcement. The Police Reform Committees appointed on January 17, 2006 by President Olusegun Obasanjo and on January 8, 2008 by late President Umar Musa Yar’ Adua are appreciated in the book.
Chukwuma acknowledges the negative perception of the Police and the internal efforts made by the Force to cure this reputation deficit. The Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) was one such body intended to make the Nigeria Police accessible and acceptable to its publics, rather than its colonial image as instrument of oppressing the civil community.

The book shows that the ills bedevilling the Nigeria Police are legion. Failure to implement the recommendations of the Police Reform Committees remains a major concern. Chukwuma highlights some of the more systemic issues, in what may seems like an interpretation section of a statute in this introductory chapter. They include role conflict, corruption, bribery, extortion, favouritism, prejudices, lack of professionalism and stagnation. Arbitrary transfer of officers is specially cited. Chukwuma’s personal experiences bear witness to this regressive practice in the Police.

He proposes three management processes for the Nigeria Police, namely:
1. Strategic planning;
2. Management control; and
3. Operational control.
He also exposes policy inconsistencies and lack of policy continuity by three successive Inspectors General of Police in order to demonstrate the depth of the problems.
Chapter two is entitled “Evolution of the Nigeria Police”. Chronological in
style, this chapter covers three main periods – pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial policing. The book informs us that pre-colonial law enforcement resided in the traditional institutions. Colonial policing underwent various forms such as the Consular Guard, Lagos Police Force, Niger Coast Constabulary, Fire Brigade,
the Royal Niger Constabulary, Southern Nigeria Police, Amalgamation of Lagos and the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, and Amalgamation of the Nigeria Police Force. Post-colonial Nigeria Police is explained in the light of the existing structure of the Police, organized into A-F Departments.

Chapter three, “Recruitment, Selection and Training”, highlights the weaknesses and interrogates the selection process into the Nigeria Police, training institutions and curricular, and recruitment policy.
In chapter four, the book addresses “Promotion and Rank Structure”. Chukwuma provides insight that the colonialists oppressed native Nigerians in the colonial Police by institutionalizing and making promotion dependent on three deceptively objective criteria – “merit, vacancy and hard work”. Using rhetorical questions similar to the Socratic Method (p.130) the author points the reader to the logical conclusion that merit and vacancy are not objectively determined by the Police top brass. Similarly, “Hard work” as exemplified by acts of heroism and ingenious methods of crime prevention generally acknowledged by the public, are hardly appreciated by the Police authorities. Rather, arbitrary transfers and malicious posting is the lot that befalls some such heroes and heroines of the Nigeria Police.

This point is significant because the primary function of the Nigeria Police as provided in Section four of the Police Act is “the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order; the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged…” Yet heads of Police divisions, commands, and so on that employ proactive methods of crime prevention are not rewarded; perhaps because they do not secure their postings with inducements.




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