Law and Order


This means the whole system of rules that citizens of a country or organised group of people are expected to obey. Laws are made by the government through the legislature, which is an organ of government in a democratic state or country. Laws are made according to the constitution of a country.


This is defined  according to the Longman Dictionary  of Contemporary English as a situation in which rules are obeyed and authority is respected.



This is a state of or condition in which  the rules or laws are obeyed. There is orderliness when citizens comply with the rules and regulations made by the government.


Law and order operate when the citizens do things according to the rules and regulations which are expected to ensure peace and progress in society. There is breakdown of law and order when laws are not obeyed  and peace of society is disturbed.



The following things are  some manifestations of orderliness or law and order in society.

  1. Due process: It refers to  following the rules of the game or operation in anything one does.  For example, following the prescribed procedure in making public purchase of materials or award of contracts.
  2. Peaceful conduct of elections: There is manifestation of orderliness when elections are conducted peacefully and votes counted without fear or favour and the winner announced.
  3. Queuing culture: In public places like the banks, hospitals, airports and so on, queuing is used to maintain orderliness. People queue up and wait to be served or attended to.
  4. Orderly conduct of examinations and avoidance of examination malpractices.
  5. Listening skills: There is need to listen attentively to others in the course of conversation or in a class room condition.
  6. Driving skills: It is important that the skills of driving be acquired  and a drivers’ license obtained before driving on the highway. Such will forestall careless driving and  accidents on the road.
  7. Decorum: Polite behavior which is appropriate in social situations should be exhibited always. This condition is more common in the courts.
  8. Obeying traffic rules and regulations: Traffic rules and regulations should be obeyed while driving . Road  signs are essential hence they should be obeyed to ensure safety on the roads.



Without law and order, people will be lawless. It will also amount to the survival of the fittest since they will not consider how the other people involved feel. The importance of law and order can be seen in the following areas:

  1. There will be peace and people will not be molested. They will be free to go about their work peacefully.
  2. There will be progress when there is peace. A peaceful situation enables people to earn a living devoid of chaos and riot. With peace, progress is sure.
  3. Protection of human rights: When laws and order are obeyed, human rights will be protected.
  4. Justice in society. People are able to get justice from the courts when law and order reign in society. People are punished deservedly and everybody is treated fairly.
  5. In society where there is law and order, growth and development are the resulst leading to political and economical development.



  1. The Nigeria Police Force
  2. Armed Forces – The Nigerian Navy, The Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Army
  3. Public Complaints Commission
  4. Organs of government
  5. Nigerian Prisons Service
  6. Nigerian Customs Service
  7. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)
  8. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)
  9. Code of Conduct Bureau



  1. The Nigeria Police

They  maintain law and order. They help detect and fight crime. They protect lives and property in society

  1. Armed Forces of the Federation: (i) The Army ensures that there is adherence to law and order on the land. They protect the country from external aggression. (ii) The navy maintains law and order on  the sea. They also ensure that the sea boarders of the country is secure. (iii) The Air Force maintains law and order in the air. They also control and supervise the air space.
  2. Organs of government (refer to 2 nd term e-note)
  3. Prisons Service officers protect prisoners and ensure that they serve their jail terms correctly. They also prevent jail break.
  4. Nigerian Customs Service collects taxes on goods brought into the country from across our boarders. They check the smuggling of goods. At the ports, they check peoples’ luggage to ensure that there are no contraband in them.
  5. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) deal with the enforcement of laws on financial crimes such as bribery, corruption and money laundering in the country.
  6. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) is charged with the responsibility of ensuring road safety on Nigerian highways. It makes sure that traffic laws are obeyed through enlightenment programmes for all road users. They also issue citizens that have passed the required test with drivers’ licenses.
  7. Code of Conduct Bureau: The bureau receives declarations by public officers on their assets. It receives complaints of non-compliance with or breach of the provisions of the code of conduct bureau. They ensure that law and order prevail by investigating complaints received  by them and possibly referring such cases to the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
  8. Public Complaints Commission: The commission is empowered to use its machinery to investigate complaints brought before it by members of the public, pertaining to any administrative action taken by the federal, state or local government, public and private establishments and any official of the bodies.



Citizens are expected to maintain law and order through the following:

  1. Obeying rules and regulations and lawful authority. It is not enough to have rules and regulations. They must be obeyed to achieve the purpose of good governance and public order. Citizens must obey and also carry out their civic responsibilities.
  2. Reporting crimes and criminals to the police so as to assist the police to perform their duties effectively. It will also assist the police to prevent crime and bring criminals to book.
  3. Acting as witnesses in court. Citizens are expected to make themselves available to act as witnesses as the need arises in courts to ensure that law and order prevail in the society.
  4. Protecting public property. Citizens must help to protect public property which are provided by the tax payers’ money for the good of all.



  • What is orderliness?
  • Mention and explain five manifestations of law and order in society.
  • Political authority refers to
  1. Ability to affect political action
  2. Capacity to produce desired political results
  3. Recognized right to exercise political power
  4. Ability to perform political activities

4.The following  are manifestations of law and order in society EXCEPT

  1. a) due process
  2. b) peaceful electioneering campaign
  3. c) decorum
  4. d) official election rigging



  • List and explain the role of five agencies in the maintenance of law and order.
  • Give five reasons law and order should prevail in society.
  • The primary duty of the citizens to society is
  1. Obedience to traditional authority
  2. Obedience to civil society
  3. Loyalty to self
  4. Loyalty to the state
  • These are some ways the citizens can help in maintaining law and order in society EXCEPT
  1. Reporting crimes and criminals
  2. Protesting regularly
  3. Protecting public property
  4. Acting as witness in law courts


See also

What is Cultism?





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