Nigeria: information on a national police computer network for information sharing; nature and extent of communication between police offices across the country; whether police offices in different states are obligated to report to each other regarding persons of interest who are suspected of having relocated; whether a link to a police computer network is available at international airports (2015-November 2017) [NGA106000.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. National Public Security Communication System

According to the Daily Trust, a Nigerian newspaper, in 2008, the Nigerian government awarded a contract to ZTE Corporation, a China-based telecommunications and information technology company (ZTE n.d.), for the National Public Security Communication System (NPSCS) (Daily Trust 17 May 2016). According to an editorial published in National Mirror, a Nigerian newspaper, the Nigerian government awarded, in 2010, the contract for the implementation of the NPSCS to ZTE Corporation (National Mirror 19 Feb. 2016). Sources indicate that the NPSCS is composed of the following five components:

  • Global Open Trunking Architecture Sub-System (GoTA), which is a telecommunications system that supports the deployment of 1.5 million lines;
  • Video Surveillance Subsystem, with 2000 solar-powered "surveillance" cameras installed in Abuja and Lagos;
  • Video Conferencing Subsystem that provides the Nigeria Police Force with videoconferencing across all police offices and headquarters;
  • E-policing Subsystem that "facilitates" the deployment of e-policing databases;
  • Coalition Emergency Response Subsystem, an emergency communication system (City Voice 22 Feb. 2016; IT Telecom Digest n.d.a).

An article published in Fortune, a business magazine (Time Inc. n.d.), reports that, as of 2016, the NPSCS "has come to next to nothing, with the system incomplete and effectively mothballed" (Fortune 16 Feb. 2016). Sources indicate that a former director of the Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NigComSat), a company and agency of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Communications Technology (Nigeria n.d.), stated to a committee of the Nigerian House of Representatives that while the contractor had fully completed the project, the Nigerian Federal Government did not operate and maintain it, nor did it provide the necessary funds for the system to function (IT Telecom Digest n.d.b; National Mirror 19 Feb. 2016).

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a police public relations officer with the Nigeria Police Special Fraud Unit indicated that he has no knowledge of the NPSCS and that the Police Special Fraud Unit does not have access to such a communication system (Nigeria 8 Nov. 2017).

2. International Criminal Police Organization Databases

A November 2016 article published in Ventures, "an online platform for news, analysis and discussion about African business, policy, innovation, and lifestyle" (Ventures n.d.), reports that, on 14 November 2016, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)

agreed to connect the Economic and Financial [Crimes] Commission (EFCC), Nigerian [National] Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service... National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking [in] Persons [and], National Agency for Foo[d] and Dru[g] ministration and Control to its National Data Base tool known as I-24/7. (Ventures 23 Nov. 2016)

Similarly, INTERPOL lists the following agencies as "key national security partners" of its National Central Bureau (NCB) for Nigeria:

  • National Drug Law Enforcement Agency;
  • Economic and Financial Crimes Commission;
  • Nigeria Immigration Services;
  • Nigeria Customs Service;
  • National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons;
  • National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (Interpol n.d.a).

INTERPOL's website explains that the I-24/7 "global police communication system" connects law enforcement officers in member countries and allows them to share "sensitive and urgent" police information around the globe (INTERPOL n.d.b.).

Ventures reports that the I-24/7 database is used for "tracking wanted persons, stolen vehicles, artifacts, missing persons and transnational criminals" (Ventures 23 Nov. 2016). The Sun, a Nigerian daily newspaper, adds that I-24/7 is also used to search and "cross-check" stolen or lost travel documents (The Sun 26 June 2016).

Ventures states that the INTERPOL's database "has been extended through MIND/FIND," which is a system that local law enforcement officers can use to access several INTERPOL's databases without querying the Nigerian NCB (Ventures 23 Nov. 2016). According to INTERPOL's website, MIND/FIND is a cluster of "technical solutions" that enable frontline law enforcement agencies, such as border police and immigration, to consult INTERPOL's database of stolen and lost travel documents and "receive an instant response" (INTERPOL n.d.c).

Media sources report that, on 31 January 2017, the Inspector General of Police of Nigeria launched the expanded I-24/7 Secure Global Communication Network System at the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja (Daily Trust 1 Feb. 2017; Sundiata Post 31 Jan. 2017). Citing the Inspector General of Police, the same source reports that once the system is fully implemented, it will give the police access to three major INTERPOL databases (Daily Trust 1 Feb. 2017; Sundiata Post 31 Jan. 2017). Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust explains that the three databases are the "nominal data" database, the stolen and lost travel document database, and the stolen motor vehicles database (Daily Trust 1 Feb. 2017). The same source reports that, according to the Inspector General of Police, the I-24/7 communication network enables national law enforcement agencies to access the network at strategic locations, such as border crossing, airports and customs and immigration posts (Daily Trust 1 Feb. 2017).

3. Availability of a Computer Police Network at International Airports

Information on the availability of a computer police network at international airports was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Media sources report that the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has access to an "Electronic Passenger Registration System" (e-pars) in Nigerian airports (Business Day 28 June 2016; The Sun 26 June 2016). The Sun quotes the NIS Controller General as stating that the

NIS has achieved tremendous success in border control at our Airports through the [e-pars]. The e-pars has integrated components that simultaneously cross-checks the data of a passenger against NIS watch list as well as registers his arrival or departure [in] real time when the passenger's passport is placed on the [d]ocument [r]eader at the immigration control point. (The Sun 26 June 2016)

On the subject of computer network systems in Nigeria, the police public relations officer explained, without providing further details, that the police have a command at all airports in Nigeria and that each command monitors criminal activities and shares information with airport authorities and other law enforcement representatives (Nigeria 8 Nov. 2017). The same source added that "passengers traveling in and out of the country have their names documented by the police and other law enforcement [representatives] in the country" (Nigeria 8 Nov. 2017).

4. The Hawk Eye Crime Reporter

Media sources report that the Nigeria Police Force announced in the Federal Capital Territory the launch of the iPolice Hawk Eye Crime Reporter tool in September 2017 (This Day 14 Sept. 2017; PM News 7 Sept. 2017). An article published in August 2017 in the Cable, an Nigerian online newspaper (The Cable n.d.), indicates that Hawk Eye Crime Reporter is a mobile application, developed by Web Assets, a technology firm based in Lagos, in collaboration with Microsoft, BBGN&K, a US-based technology firm, and the Nigeria Police, that allows users to report crimes "anonymously" to the police by "video, voice or text" (The Cable 13 August 2017).

According to Nigerian newspaper This Day, the tool is composed of three main parts, namely the Hawk Crime Reporter for Citizens, solar-powered police command centres and mobile device terminals for patrol teams (This Day 14 Sept. 2017). The website of Web Assets explains that users send reports of crime through the application, which are then received by a dispatch centre and displayed by the system to the five officers who are the nearest to the user (Web Assets n.d.). Upon viewing the report, the dispatcher adds notes to the report and sends the nearest officer to the incident location (Web Assets n.d.). The officer responds to the incident after receiving an alert, and the system logs the report of crime, the actions taken by police officers and "creates [an] analysis" (Web Assets n.d.). The same source states that the Nigerian government monitors and manages the crime reporting system (Web Assets n.d.).

5. Crime and Criminal Tracking System

This Day reports that, on 7 June 2016, the Nigerian Senate decided to pass the Crime and Criminal Tracking System bill (This Day 8 June 2016). Without providing further details, the same source further indicates that a public hearing on the bill will be held with invited stakeholders and members of the public (This Day 8 June 2016).

The Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)'s bills tracking system, an "online platform for tracking the status and progression of bills through the legislative process in the National Assembly" of Nigeria (PLAC n.d.a), indicates that the Crime and Criminal Tracking System Bill was presented to the Nigerian Senate in 2015 (PLAC n.d.a). The same source indicates that the general provisions of the bill are, among others, the establishment of the Police Central Criminal Registry which will "store information and digitalize all records pertaining to… crime and criminals, criminal cases and their progress, finger prints, date of arrest, outstanding warrants and charges" (PLAC n.d.b). The same source states that, according to the bill, "[t]he Police Headquarters, State Police Commands, Area Commands and all Divisional Police Stations shall be networked and interconnected" and that the Crime and Criminal Tracking System will establish the Data Exchange, "which is a nationwide data warehouse developed to provide information sharing service to other law enforcement agencies [, enabling] user[s] to search, link, analyze and share criminal information on a nationwide basis" (PLAC n.d.b).

6. Obligation of Police Officers and Extent of Communication between Police Offices

Information on the obligation of police officers to report persons who are suspected of having relocated to each other, and on the extent of the communication between police offices across the country, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Business Day. 28 June 2016. "Nigeria Immigration Seeks Access to INTERPOL Database, Police Collaboration." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

The Cable. 13 August 2017. Mayowa Tijani. "Meet Hawk Eye, the New App Helping Nigerians Report Crime." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

The Cable. N.d. "About Us." [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017]

City Voice. 22 February 2016. "$470 million CCTV Camera Project: House of Reps Probe'll Vincidate Us, Says ZTE." [Accessed 13 Oct. 2017]

Daily Trust. 1 February 2017. Ronald Mutum. "IGP Inaugurate INTERPOL Secure Network System." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

Daily Trust. 17 May 2016. Musa Abdullahi Krishi and Ibrahim Kabiru Sule. "Only 40 CCTV Cameras Out of 1000 Work in Abuja." [Accessed 21 Nov. 2017]

Fortune. 16 February 2016. David Z. Morris. "China's ZTE Under Investigation in Nigerian Security Network Failure." [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017]

International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). N.d.a. "Nigeria." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). N.d.b. "Data Exchange." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). N.d.c. "INTERPOL Tools." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

IT Telecom Digest. N.d.a. Mkpe Abang. "Can Buhari Bring Change to the National Security Project?" [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017]

IT Telecom Digest. N.d.b. "ZTE Rejects Wrongdoing in Security Project." [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017]

National Mirror. 19 February 2016. "CCTV Project and FG's Non-Seriousness." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

Nigeria. 8 November 2017. Police Force, Special Fraud Unit. Correspondence from an assistant superintendent ofa police public relations officer to the Research Directorate.

Nigeria. N.d. Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NigComSat). "Who We Are." [Accessed 7 Nov. 2017]

Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC). N.d.a. PLAC Bills Tracking. "Senate Bills and Resolutions." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC). N.d.b. PLAC Bills Tracking. "SB 03: Crime and Criminal Tracking System Bill 2015." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

PM News. 7 September 2017. "FCT Police Inaugurates IPolice-Hawk Eye Crime Reporter." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

The Sun. 26 June 2016. Romanus Ugwu. "Immigration Wants Access to INTERPOL Database to Fight Boko Haram." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

Sundiata Post. 31 January 2017. Joseph Edeh. "Police Inaugurate Interpol Secure Network System in Abuja." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

This Day. 14 September 2017. "Nigeria: As Police Go High-Tech." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

Time Inc. N.d. "Brands: Fortune." [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017]

Ventures. 23 November 2016. Adebola Adeniyi. "INTERPOL Wants to Connect Nigeria's Security Agencies to its Database." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

Ventures. N.d. "About Ventures." [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017]

Web Assets. N.d. "How It Works." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

ZTE. N.d. "Company Overview." [Accessed 18 Oct. 2017]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: CLEEN Foundation; Nigeria – Police Offices in Abuja, High Commission in Ottawa, Immigration Service.

Internet sites, including: CLEEN Foundation; ecoi.net; European Interagency Security Forum; Factiva; International NGO Safety Organisation; Nigeria – Nigeria Police Force, National Identity Management Commission; UN – Refworld; US – Department of State.