We are still counting days – or hours – from when the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, sent a beautifully-written letter to the press, acknowledging the rot in the police system and the existence of bad eggs, who will be flushed out in no time. A letter that rode on the back of ‘change’ and prompted popular singer, Naira Marley to cancel a planned protest just hours before it was scheduled to hold.
It is also just hours from when the Police PRO, Frank Mba had a chat with the said singer outlining all the changes the police has planned to correct the anomalies in the system, and we still hear and experience stories of extortion and threats to life. What makes it worse is when the victim had just survived from the hands of ritual killers.
You know, when Nigerians ask, ‘what’s the difference between actual killers and members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)‘, they have justifiable reasons to ask. And enough reasons to say ‘to be honest, there’s hardly any difference‘. What’s the trigger today?
In a series of tweets, a Nigerian, Kingsley, who was going about his business, met with alleged ritual killers who were on the verge of taking parts of his body and driving him to Ibadan, Oyo, to finish their business. But, his doggedness alerted people around who helped him apprehend the kidnappers and, alongside two of the alleged kidnappers, Kingsley found himself at a Police station.
“On the way, one of them said he will stop at Law School after 1st toll gate, on getting there I stopped for the guy to alight and to my shock, the two at the back held me from the back, help onto my throat and dragged me to the floor of the back seat.
“The one in front took over the steering and started hitting my knees, shoulders and elbow with a hammer to weaken me. I became so weak with pain and remained calm till dey drove off…”
“…They already had the music to its highest volume and wound up the glasses, while they were driving. I begged them to just go with the car, I had 45k in my wallet (the money I made on previous trips) and I had my piggy bank in the boot where I was saving for accommodation.
“…They (the mob who helped him escape) picked the of my phones, my swift 4G internet modem, MY PIGGY BANK WITH MY ACCOMMODATION SAVINGS …They literally turned my car upside down. This was happening till MAROKO POLICEMEN came and picked the two criminals and we managed to get my car to the station.
“The case was now transferred toIkeja and my IPO in charge of the case now says I have to pay for investigation, he said they need to apprehend the other guy that ran away and am I like, ‘officer see all I’ve gone through with bandages on me’.”
“…The SARS officer, Austin Imagbe, has collected the money as at September 6, the man asked me to come today (Wednesday) by 3 pm that he’s going to court, I got their today and called him but he shouted at me and said I should come back on Friday and ended the call, I called again and he said he will swear for me if I call him again…I don’t know what else to do. My knees hurt so much and I can’t stand for long yet # wants to make money off of me.”
“When he was taking me to the O/C’s office yesterday, he asked me never to disclose to the O/C that he has collected money from me else my case will be delayed and I may not get my car this year…”
I ESCAPED RITUAL DEATH BUT VICTIMIZED BY SARS.@JoyceOnyemuwa @PoliceNG @PoliceNG_CRU @segalink @RuggedyBaba
I am a bolt driver who picked up 3 riders from eleganza before lekki 2nd toll gate and heading to Oshodi at about 9:45pm on Wednesday 23nd Sept 2020.
— KINGSLEY A (@donkashking) October 7, 2020
But, it is no news that Police officers allegedly ask for ‘money for investigation’. And, while we struggle to end police brutality and extortion, police authorities need to consider, continually, mental evaluation to assess if officers are actually mentally stable to do their jobs.
There are other unreported stories of SARS brutality and it is only those who have access to a phone or know how to use social media that actually get their voice heard.
This has gone on for too long and IGP Adamu’s ‘assurance press statement’ is no indication that actual reforms have begun. Not when we still see police officers parading like gods on the streets and in their stations.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram