Nigeria Justice for All Programme - State-Level Interventions

State-Level Interventions are described in detail in this section that contribute to enhanced Accountability, Service delivery and Community Engagement and Partnerships. These interventions ranging from Legal Aid Schemes to Community Accountability Forums and Public presentations are developed by beneficiary organisations and groups with J4A technical assistance. The achievements and impact of these interventions are discussed at the state level. Take a look at the Background and Theory of Change to better situate the State Level Interventions within the J4A programme. 

State-Level Interventions

At Divisional level:

  • Lay Visitors Schemes (ACC) were established. The scheme allows independent monitoring of the treatment of suspects in police custody in order to ensure that suspects’ human rights were observed and their welfare needs reasonably met.
  • Legal Aid Scheme (ACC) introduced a partnership between the NPF and local lawyers aimed at improving the treatment of suspects held at J4A supported MPS sites;
  • Suspect Custody & Property Registers (ACC) were introduced and used to provide a full account of a person’s time in detention, including a record of all their personal belongings and property; with an integrated section for signed acknowledgement that they were advised of their rights.
  • Community Safety Partnerships (CSP) (ACC/SD/CEP) were introduced which served as an accountability platform where community members could interact directly with security agencies and ask probing security questions and jointly identify and problem solve community safety problems - anything from female genital mutilation to SGBV to juvenile crime to road traffic.
  • Community Accountability Forums (ACC/SD/CEP) were introduced to facilitate interaction between the VPS, Police and the community in order to improve relationships both within the forum and the larger community. The regularly convened CAF acted as an oversight body primarily to change and improve community relationships with their police at local levels, and as vehicle for improving the NPF and VPS service to the communities by providing partnership and problem solving opportunities.
  • NPF/VPS Coordination Forums (SD) which were a small meeting between the Neighbourhood Policing Team / Community Policing Managers of a Division and the executives of VPS groups in the community. Prior to developing these structures the NPF did not formally meet or work together with their local VPS to discuss issues affecting those most at risk. The Coordination forums were critical in building trust relationships and making the Community Accountability Forums successful.
  • The coordination forums also enhanced recognition between VPS and NPF. Even with frequent changes in police personnel, the VPS were able to maintain continuity for the benefit of their communities.
  • A VPS Executive Development and Leadership Programme was designed to enhance the organisational and management capacity of the informal policing structures.
  • Police officers were given a 5-day Basic Police Skills Course (SD). This was designed to improve the basic knowledge and skills needed for day-to day policing activities. The course was used to reinforce the process redesign carried out at the MPS sites which was based on interventions in crime reporting, investigation, case management, development of Neighbourhood policing and divisional intelligence capability. This was supplemented with a 5-day Investigative Skills Course.
  • Victim support and respect for human dignity and privacy were introduced at all MPS sites. Particular emphasis was given to SGBV victims, who were no longer required to tell their stories publicly at the front desk but were referred directly to trained Family Support Unit (FSU) officers in private offices.
  • Public presentations on the ‘leadership principles’ of the MPS and what the public could expect with regard to the quality of services and their rights were made at different public events. Similarly a Code of Conduct for VPS operatives was developed to guide the way and manner they behave and respond to the community (SD). Divisional Police Officers in charge of the MPS started painting their cell phone numbers on the front wall of the Police Station.
  • Capacity development of the Divisional Management Team on supervision and planning, with the introduction of crime recording and a crime register to aid investigation and a case register to map the progress of an investigation (SD).
  • Integrated framework of clusters of interventions provided the opportunity for cross referral and coordination ensuring that interventions were both synergistic and self-reinforcing. For example in the case of impacting sexual and domestic violence and child abuse - the cluster linking a geographical NPF Family Support Unit, NPF Divisional Intelligence Unit, Community Accountability Forum, Neighbourhood Policing Unit, Community Safety Partnership and Sexual Assault Referral Centre at local hospitals provided a shared platform of information, collaboration and action for the prevention and detection of these offences. Community officers, the VPS and the CAF’s are providing awareness and encouraging victims to come forward and report crimes with more confidence about the manner in which they are treated and the support and investigation provided. Increased intelligence was developed by the DIU, and supported enhanced investigations by the FSU, working closely with the SARC. Prevention initiatives were developed by the CSP. This effectiveness of this cluster development and delivery was demonstrated over time by the numbers of crimes reported especially cross referral, investigations commenced, persons charged to court and convictions between geographical locations that had the full rather than partial cluster with on average the full cluster being 70% more effective.


  • 430 problems resolved by the VPS and their partners at Community Accountability Forums across 7 J4A supported States.
  • 776 VPS leaders successfully completed the VPS executive development and leadership programme and an additional 1000 operatives trained in basic Human Rights and Conflict Management skills.
  • 28 Community Accountability Forums (CAF) were established (at some locations a number of different communities attend the same CAF meeting) and are fully functional in the seven J4A focal states
  • 55 NPF/VPS Coordination Forums established and fully functional in seven J4A focal states
  • 189 replications across the 7 states. This includes the replication of CAF, NPF/VPS Coordination Forums, Human Rights Approaches and Conflict Resolution.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, Community Safety Partnerships operating out of J4A model police stations worked with the community to resolve 218 local community safety problems.
  • Re-organisation of the front office of the stations to put public more at ease when they visit the police station and lessening the intimidating environment at first contact.
  • There is increased confidence in the NPF as illustrated by the doubling in the number of crimes reported at J4A-supported model police stations from 2013 (7394 reports) to 2015 (14746 reports)
  • Divisional Intelligence Units (DIUs) developed and made tangible contributions to crime analysis.
  • State Technical Assessments are now being prepared and discussed with the Commissioners of Police
  • Increased sensitivity, awareness and ability to provide services to vulnerable persons. The police took three-quarters of the victims helped by the Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) between 2013 and 2016. Over 300 police officers have been trained with improved skills for dealing with sexual and gender-based violence. 
  • J4A helped the police to establish Family Support Units (FSU), also known as Juvenile, Women and Children’s Units (JWCUs) in 82 Police Stations. Between July 2013 and March 2016, these Units dealt with over 1,750 cases, resolving over 1200 of them and working closely with SARCs located in their jurisdictions.
  • Following this success, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command mandated all J4A trained police officers trained as trainers, to cascade the training to all personnel working in the JWCs across Lagos State.
  • J4A supported the establishment of two Sexual Assault Referral Centres in Lagos and Enugu. By the end of 2016, the two SARCs had helped more than 2700 clients. 75% of the clients were under 18 years old and 34% were under the age of 11. By programme end in June 2017 there were up to 11 SARCs established with the programme’s assistance. 240 medical and counselling staff trained to work in the SARCs and provide essential services to victims of sexual violence.
  • Between 2013 and July 2016, the Isokoko FSU dealt with 82 cases; 41 of these have resulted in at least 1 person being charged to court so far securing 1 conviction, 2 acquittals and 38 cases ongoing. The FSU at Isokoko MPS has established a reputation within the NPF as the ‘Centre of Excellence’ for victims of sexual violence and cases are now being transferred to them from other stations across Lagos.
  • Over 500 J4A interventions have been replicated and implemented in non-MPS divisions



  • CAF meeting reports and evaluations show that the VPS and NPF work jointly with communities to create crime awareness, including giving security advice. 
  • Reports and comments from the traditional leaders, DPOs and VPS members indicated that suspects’ are no longer badly beaten by the VPS, suggesting that with training and discussions at the CAF meetings the attitude of the operatives have changed. Generally this has led to a reduction of reports of “jungle justice” perpetrated by VPS members in the project States.
  • There is a greater sense of confidence from the public that issues raised at the CAF will be addressed as evidenced by recorded resolutions of previous complaints of the conduct of VPS in handling suspects and molesting people in the community.
  • The most common reasons given for greater confidence were the improved attitude of police, followed by the impact of training and improved cooperation with other agencies
  • At the commencement of the programme there was limited reporting of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) offences at MPS sites; when cases were reported, the main challenge was establishing what had happened. During the period July 2013 to March 2016 a total of 1756 cases were reported at J4A model police stations of which 1242 were resolved, a clear up rate of 71%. 
  • The 2016 J4A commissioned independent exit surveys at model police stations which showed that 79% of respondents were satisfied with the service they had received at the police station that day. This reflects an increase of 13 percentage points since 2014 when the proportion of satisfied respondents was 66%. The 2016 survey also showed that the majority of respondents thought performance of the police at the station had improved in the past year and the police at the station are more accountable. More than 4 out of every 5 respondents said they would recommend the station to other citizens if they were victims of crime.