Is China Truly Running Police Station in Nigeria? Here Is What You Need to Know

Is China Truly Running Police Station in Nigeria? Here Is What You Need to Know

  • The China Embassy in Nigeria has reacted to the reports claiming that it is operating police station in the country
  • Zhang Hang, the Chinese Embassy Press Officer in Nigeria, said on Wednesday, October 19, that the reports are false
  • Hang noted that diplomatic relations cannot allow any country to open police stations in another sovereign country and explained what China is operating in Nigeria

FCT, Abuja - Nigeria's media space has been awash with reports claiming that China opened and operates police stations in Nigeria and other countries.

Most, if not all, the reports cited an investigative story from a rights group, Safeguard Defenders, with the title ‘110 Overseas Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild.’).

President Buhari/Xi Jinping/China Police Stations in Nigeria
President Buhari (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands during the signing ceremony at Great Hall of the People on April 12, 2016 in Beijing, China. Photo by /Kyodo News - Pool
Source: Getty Images

The reports claimed that China decided to open police stations in Nigeria and other countries to tackle the criminal activities among its people residing abroad.

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The original report by Safeguard Defenders claimed that China's police station or "service station" in Nigeria (Fuzhou public security) is located in Benin City, Edo state.

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Is China running police station in Nigeria?

The China embassy in Nigeria has denied opening and operating police stations in Nigeria, according to a report by Vanguard.

Zhang Hang, the Chinese Embassy Press Officer in Nigeria, was quoted as saying on Wednesday, October 19, that the reports are false.

“There is no such station in Nigeria or everywhere," Hang said.

Why China cannot open and operate police station in Nigeria

Speaking further, Hang said diplomatic relations cannot allow any country to open police posts in another sovereign country outside its territories.

He added:

"This is because any sovereign country cannot allow other countries to set up their own (police) stations on their land. This is common sense, right?”

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We have outreaches, not police stations, where Chinese citizens reside - Hang

The Chinese official explained that rather than opening and operating police stations which is illegal, China creates what he called outreaches.

The outreaches are created in the countries where Chinese citizens reside to help protect them from terrorism, abduction, and other crimes that may endanger their lives.

“Also, there is only one category of outreach services for Chinese communities so China does not have any intention or spare energy to run police stations outside its shores," hang said.

Why China needs an outreach for its citizens in Nigeria

Hang cited cases of abductions of Chinese nationals in Nigeria as some of the cases handled by the outreach.

For instance, in June 2022, Armed bandits attacked a mining site at Ajata-Aboki in Gurmana Ward of Shiroro local government area of Niger state. At least four Chinese nationals working at the mining site were abducted by the bandits.

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Also, Geng Quangrong, a 47-year-old Chinese national based in Kano State, was recently arrested for allegedly killing his Nigerian girlfriend.

“You know in Nigeria, there are a lot of insecurity issues happening almost every day. I cannot remember, maybe September or August or July or June, there were terrorists, bandits, they had kidnapped a lot of innocent persons, and also among these innocent persons, there were some Chinese nationals," Hang said.

He explained further that the outreach helped in collaborating with local security operatives in managing the aforesaid incident.

“What I mean (by the outreach services) is that every nation has its mission to care for and help their own nationals.
“So they have no right, they have no power to decide or command Nigeria government or police forces, what they can only do is to assist or play the outside role to help the Chinese nationals.

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“So the fundamental reason or factor is the locals and the Nigerian government, so we fully respect the sovereignty issue," Hang said.

He submitted that report by Safeguard Defenders "is fake news."

It is illegal for another country or body to create police formation in Nigeria

The Nigerian constitution forbids the formation of police formation by anyone apart from the federal governor.

Section 214 (1) of the 1999 constitution states:

"There shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof."

Nigerian government waiting for China to release loan to complete railway line

In another report, the minister of transportation, Mua’zu Sambo, recently said the Nigerian government is waiting for more loans from China to complete the construction of the Abuja-Kano and Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri rail projects.

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Sambo, who made this known at a press conference in Abuja, said the inability of the government to secure 85 percent foreign loan meant for the project was delaying the completion of the projects.

The minister said that the Chinese financiers were expected to provide 85 percent loan meant for the rail project.


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