Public and police perception of legitimacy and procedural justice in a weak democracy: A study of the Nigerian state

Research Institution / Organisation

Liverpool John Moores University

Principal Researcher

Chike Anthony Abadom

Level of Research


Project Start Date

September 2020

Research Context

Police and the public in Nigeria don't seem to be on the same page when it has to do with policing the community. The public see the police as corrupt and ineffective. The public also views the police as not being fair and legitimate in their affairs.
On the other hand, the police see the public as not being cooperative and helpful, they equally see the public in some case as colluding with criminals to evade justice. There is not a lot of partnership and cooperation between the police and the public. Intelligence gathering is exceedingly difficult for police because members of the public are unwilling to give vital information or intelligence to police that can help in their work.

The police see themselves as legitimate because they argue that they are working with the resources available to them. The application of procedural justice in a weak democracy can be challenging for police because they are under a lot of political and economic influence which tends to influence how they do their job. Police officers in Nigeria will argue that they are only a reflection of the wider society and do not understand why they must be singled out.

This research project aims to present evidence of police perception of legitimacy and procedural justice in a weak democracy. This thesis will show what the police officers on the frontline think. This study takes a different approach to previous research which have looked primarily at how the public perceives legitimacy and procedural justice.

The research with the use of focus groups and questionnaires will gather data from servicing police officers and the public, to get a balanced and a wider understanding of the issues of legitimacy and procedural justice in a weak democracy.

Research Methodology

The sample size will be able about two hundred police officers from Police Staff college in Abuja and Jos.
The researcher will use focus groups and questionnaires and participants will be divided into age, sex, rank, religion, and educational level.

Date due for completion

September 2024
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