Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Laws (LLM)

First Advisor

Benjamin L. Berger


On the 21st of October 2020, the world woke to images and video clips of the bloodied, broken bodies of Nigerians shared across social and traditional media. The night before, young Nigerians protesting police brutality were met with a government-sanctioned, combined police and military onslaught; Nigerias decades-long struggle with police dysfunction was brought to a head with the massacre of its citizens at the Lekki toll gate on the evening of October 20, 2020. This work problematizes the cycle of attempts at, and ultimate failure of, police reform in Nigeria. I argue that the colonial nature of policing is retained in attempts to reform the Nigerian police force. so reform efforts continue to produce a colonial and ultimately flawed institution. To address this problem, I offer a non-colonial vision of policing that draws from pre-colonial Igbo societies and recommend literary narratives as a critical source for this pre-colonial history.


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