1.1 Background of the study
The phenomenon, “crime” has been a major subject of private and public concern throughout human history. No society is free of crime. However, the question often asked is that even if crime is part of inevitable human behaviour, how much of it can a society tolerate? This question is linked to man’s natural instinct for survival, the ability to respond to any threat to his life and property. Crime poses such a threat, particularly in its violent form.
The recent upsurge in violent crimes in Nigeria has created enormous uncertainty in the security of lives and property of individuals and of social stability in general. The incidents of traditional crimes such as armed robbery, arson, drug trafficking and abuse, murder, kidnapping, rape, hired assassinations and ritual killings are examples of the most serious and violent crimes which have been on the increase in the recent past. Correspondingly, White Collar Crimes in the form of Advance Fee Fraud (popularly, known as 419), contract deals, embezzlement and mismanagement in both the public and private sectors are also on the increase. The aggregate of the traditional crimes mostly committed by the less privileged and white collar crimes mostly committed by the highly placed call for a change in the strategies for the prevention and control of crime in Nigeria,
The existing patterns in criminal activities show that criminals are getting more organized, sophisticated and brutal in the manner they carry out their dastardly acts, either in the way they physically attack individuals with dangerous weapons or the method they use in taking advantage of their official positions to steal and stash away millions of public funds in foreign and domestic accounts. Equally worrisome is the new dimension in organized criminal behaviour in Nigeria involving acts of terrorism and sabotage against individuals and public places. Recent incidents, in which some individual were stalked and eventually trapped in the volley of bullets from assault weapons, depict the viciousness of violent criminals. These acts are usually well-planned, orchestrated, syndicated and organized in the mafia-type fashion. In addition to these new patterns of violent crimes against persons, there is also the equally disturbing criminal behaviour against the Nigerian economy leading to the collapse of financial institutions and government parastatals. In short, we are witnessing the emergences of dangerous trends in the nation’s social and economic well-being.
Three bodies are responsible for the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria. These bodies are: the Courts, the Police and Prisons. This research focuses on the police functions in the administration of justice and the manner in which such functions are carried out.
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ROLE OF LAWYERS AND POLICE IN ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE