Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The politics of law enforcement in Nigeria: lessons from the war on drugs*

  • Gernot Klantschnig (a1)

Abstract

This article examines the institutional politics of law enforcement in Nigeria by focusing on illegal drug control since the mid 1980s. It assesses the available academic research on law enforcement governance, and contrasts it with an in-depth case study of drug law enforcement. The case study confirms views of the politicised nature of law enforcement. However, it goes beyond the patron–client centred approach to politics prevalent in the literature on African policing. The article adds an institutional dimension to the study of law enforcement governance, highlighting processes of centralisation, exclusion and shifting bureaucratic interests that have been central to the development of Nigerian drug law enforcement. It is based on previously inaccessible data from inside Nigerian drug law enforcement.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Footnotes

Hide All
*

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Oxford workshop on ‘New Research on Nigeria’ in May 2008. I am grateful for comments from workshop participants and two anonymous reviewers. Financially, this research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Adamson, T. 1990. ‘Memorandum’, in Kalu & Osinbajo, Narcotics, 406–7.
Akyeampong, E. 2005. ‘Diaspora and drug trafficking in West Africa: a case study of Ghana’, African Affairs 104, 416: 429–47.
Alemika, E. 1998. Narcotic Drugs Control Policy in Nigeria. Ibadan: Development Policy Centre.
Alemika, E. & Chukwuma, I.. 2004. Analysis of Police and Policing in Nigeria. Lagos: CLEEN.
Anderson, D. & Killingray, D.. 1991. Policing the Empire: government, authority and control, 1830–1940. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Anderson, D. & Killingray, D.. 1992. Policing and Decolonisation: politics, nationalism and the police, 1917–65. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Apter, A. 1999. ‘IBB=419: Nigerian democracy and the politics of illusion’, in Comaroff, J. & Comaroff, J., eds. Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 267307.
Bayart, J. F., Ellis, S. & Hibou, B.. 1999. The Criminalization of the State in Africa. Oxford: James Currey.
Bernstein, H. 1999. ‘Ghana's drug economy: some preliminary data’, Review of African Political Economy 26, 79: 1332.
Chabal, P. & Daloz, J. P.. 1999. Africa Works: disorder as political instrument. Oxford: James Currey.
Comaroff, J. & Comaroff, J.. 2006a. ‘Criminal obsessions, after Foucault: postcoloniality, policing and the metaphysics of disorder’, in Comaroff, J. & J., eds. Law and Disorder in the Postcolony. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 273–98.
Comaroff, J. & Comaroff, J.. 2006b. ‘Law and disorder in the postcolony: an introduction’, in Comaroff, J. & J., eds. Law and disorder in the postcolony. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 156.
Ellis, S. 2009. ‘West Africa's international drug trade’, African Affairs 108, 431: 171–96.
Emafo, P. 1990. ‘Drug regulation and social policy’, in Kalu & Osinbajo, Narcotics, 6385.
Famuyiwa, O. 1990. ‘The new drug law and the medical profession’, in Kalu & Osinbajo, Narcotics, 379–83.
Foster, J. & Bowling, B.. 2002. ‘Policing and the police’, in Morgan, R., Reiner, R. & Maguire, M., eds. Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford University Press, 912–14.
Graf, W. 1988. The Nigerian State: political economy, state class and political system in the post-colonial era. London: James Currey.
Hills, A. 2000. Policing Africa: internal security and the limits of liberalization. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Hills, A. 2007. ‘Police commissioners, presidents and the governance of security’, Journal of Modern African Studies 45, 3: 403–23.
Hills, A. 2008. ‘The dialectic of police reform in Nigeria’, Journal of Modern African Studies 46, 2: 215–34.
Kalu, A. & Osinbajo, Y.. eds. Narcotics: law and policy in Nigeria. Lagos: Ministry of Justice.
Klantschnig, G. 2008. ‘The making of Nigeria's war on drugs: international cooperation and the politics of illicit substance control’, DPhil thesis in Politics, University of Oxford.
Laniel, L. 2006. ‘Cannabis in Africa: a cash crop to cushion the crises’, paper presented at the Workshop on Drugs and Alcohol in Africa, 23.5.6, St Antony's College, Oxford.
Marenin, O. 1982. ‘Policing African states: toward a critique’, Comparative Politics 15, 2: 379–96.
Mazzitelli, A. 2007. ‘Transnational organized crime in West Africa: the additional challenge’, International Affairs 83, 6: 1071–90.
Mustapha, A. R. 2002. ‘Coping with diversity: the Nigerian state in historical perspective’, in Samatar, A. I., Samatar, A. & Mustapha, A. R., eds. The African State: reconsiderations. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman, 149–75.
Osih, F. 2001, ‘Demand reduction as a component of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP)’, paper presented at the NDLEA's first annual summit of command officers, Lagos.
Othman, S. 1989. ‘Nigeria: power for profit – class, corporatism, and factionalism in the military’, in O'Brien, D. C., Dunn, J. & Rathbone, R., eds. Contemporary West African States. Cambridge University Press, 113–44.
Tamuno, T. 1970. The Police in Modern Nigeria: 1861–1965. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
Wannenburg, G. 2006. ‘Africa's big states and organised crime’, in Clapham, C., Herbst, J. & Mills, G., eds. Big African States. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 241–55.
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). 2005a. NDLEA Fallen Heroes Gallery. http://www.ndlea.gov.ng, accessed 5.4.2009.
NDLEA. 2005b. Performance Scorecard 1990–2005: drug seizures and arrests data. Lagos: NDLEA.
Nigeria Federal Military Government (NFMG). 1989. NDLEA Decree, Number 48. Lagos.
Nigeria Federal Ministry of Finance. 1992–2004. Details of Recurrent and Capital Expenditures: fiscal years 1993–2005. Abuja.
United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UN CND). 1975–91. Review/Data of the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, E/CN.7. Geneva/Vienna: UN CND.
United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP). 1998. Supply of and Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1996. Vienna: UNDCP.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 2003. Operational Priorities: guidelines for the medium-term. Vienna: UNODC.
UNODC. 2005. Nigeria Strategic Program Framework. Vienna: UNODC.
UNODC. 2007. Cocaine Trafficking in West Africa: the threat to stability and development, with special reference to Guinea-Bissau. Vienna: UNODC.
UNODC. 2008. Drug Trafficking as a Security Threat in West Africa. Vienna: UNODC.
United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (US INL). 1986. International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) 1986. Washington, DC: US State Department.
US INL. 1994. INCSR 1994. Washington, DC: US State Department.
US INL. 1995. INCSR 1995. Washington, DC: US State Department.
US INL. 1997. INCSR 1997. Washington, DC: US State Department.
US INL. 1999. INCSR 1999. Washington, DC: US State Department.
US INL. 2000. INCSR 2000. Washington, DC: US State Department.
US INL. 2003. INCSR 2003. Washington, DC: US State Department.

Former heroin and cocaine smuggler, Lagos, 11.10.2005.

Former NDLEA assistant director, Ibadan, 14.9.2007.

NDLEA assistant director 1, Lagos, 25.9.2005.

NDLEA assistant director 2, Lagos, 16.9.2005.

NDLEA assistant director 3, Lagos, 26.9.2005.

NDLEA assistant director 4, Lagos, 26.7.2005.

NDLEA chairman, Lagos 16.9.2005.

NDLEA director 1, Abuja, 18.8.2005.

NDLEA director 2, Lagos, 9.8.2005.

NDLEA director 3, Lagos, 27.7.2005.

NDLEA director 4, Lagos, 27.7.2005.

NDLEA director general, Lagos, 9.8.2005.

NDLEA mid-ranking officer, Jos, 8.9.2005.

Nigerian senator and vice chairman, Committee on drugs, narcotics and financial crimes, Senate of the Republic of Nigeria, Abuja, 30.8.2005.

Daily Trust, Abuja; Drugforce, NDLEA; Drug Salvation Force, NDLEA; Newswatch; Vanguard.

The politics of law enforcement in Nigeria: lessons from the war on drugs*

  • Gernot Klantschnig (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed