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TECHNIQUES AND CONTROVERSIES IN THE INTERROGATION OF SUSPECTS BY THE NIGERIAN POLICE
This paper focuses on the reoccurring controversies that have trailed the techniques of Nigeria Police in investigating, interrogating and eliciting confessions from crime suspects in the country. Human rights organisations and other stakeholders have continued to report that
“confessions” obtained from suspects through torture by the police are still admissible and used in courts as a basis for conviction. Drawing from Charles Tittle‟s Control Balance Theory, this study examined the perspectives of law enforcement officers on suspects‟ treatment and interrogation techniques while under their custody. A qualitative survey of 37 investigators purposively selected from 12 police stations, four divisional police headquarters in Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode and Sagamu, as well as the Ogun State Police Headquarters was conducted. Police investigators debunked engaging in indiscriminate arrests in public areas, stating that they only act on prior information. Provisions of basic needs to detainees are grossly inadequate as their welfare is left to the benevolence of police officers, complainants and suspects‟ families. The interrogation tactics deployed by the investigators include throwing accusations at suspects, identifying contradictions in the suspect‟s account, winning the trust of suspects to get confession, wearing out suspects through lengthy interrogation, use of threats and deception. However, all investigators denied the use of physical force and torture in eliciting confession from suspects. High-pressure investigative tactics by the police should be addressed through the deployment of modern investigative techniques, equipping the police appropriately for best practice investigations and ensuring effective police accountability and control system nationwide.
Keywords: Human Rights, Interrogation, Nigeria Police, Techniques, Torture