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Policing and Politics in Nigeria: A Comprehensive History

Akali Omeni
Policing and Politics in Nigeria: A Comprehensive History
ISBN: 978-1-955055-04-8
ISBN: 978-1-955055-18-5
2022/323 pages/LC: 2021036842
"An impressive achievement. In addition to its empirical contributions, it adds to our understanding of the institutional linkages between political authority and domestic order in Nigeria, as well as of the broader nature of state-society relations in Africa." —Christopher Day, International Journal of African Historical Studies

"Whose interests do the police protect and how do politics shape policing?... Omeni skillfully examines these issues as he traces the history of policing in Nigeria from the colonial era to now." —Travis Curtice, Monkey Cage at The Washington Post

"Sure to become the authoritative book on the Nigeria Police Force.... This kaleidoscopic view of law enforcement over the last century and a half in many ways tells the story of Nigeria itself since the advent of colonialism." —Samuel Fury Childs Daly, Duke University


Close to the center of politics since the nineteenth century, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has grown to become the country’s main security agency. Akali Omeni traces the checkered record of the NPF, dissecting the intricacies of its evolution, structures, and missions—and showing how colonial- and military-era traditions continue to underpin its uneasy relationship with the general population.


Akali Omeni is lecturer in the School of International Relations and the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews.


  • The Nigeria Police Force.
  • British Imperialism and the Imperial Police.
  • The Colony of Lagos and Lugard's Vision.
  • Fighting the Great War.
  • Postwar Amalgamation.
  • The "Nigerianization" Question.
  • Police Practices and Institutional Issues.
  • The Independence Era.
  • Intrigue and Politics in the New Republic.
  • Coups, Pogroms, and the Spiral into Civil War.
  • The Biafra Police Force During the Civil War.
  • Cops, Robbers, and Firing Squads During Military Rule.
  • Legacies of Military Rule.
  • The #EndSARs Movement.
  • The NPF as a Broken Institution.