In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 17th, October, 2020

Policemen Used To Pay Bribes To Be Posted To SARS Division

Policemen Used To Pay Bribes To Be Posted To SARS Department

Fidelis Ogili

Fidelis Ogili

A Nigerian man, Mr Fidelis Ogili, who was once a police sergeant, has uncovered some evils within the Nigeria Police Pressure.

Ogili tells RAPHAEL EDE how he resigned after about 17 years within the Pressure due to alleged corruption within the system

When did you be part of the police pressure and when did you resign?

I joined the police pressure on July 1, 1982 and left on Could 31, 1999. I spent 16 years and 11 months within the Pressure. I retired as a police sergeant.

What motivated you to hitch the police?

I joined as a result of I didn’t have a job however after becoming a member of the police, I found it was a noble career even if it was bedevilled by plenty of unhealthy issues. Nonetheless, it was the suitable place for me to begin.

Why did you resign?

At some level, I found that issues have been going improper which I couldn’t change and the difficulty was affecting my conscience So, I left voluntarily.

You mentioned you left due to corruption. How unhealthy was it?

It was very unhealthy and it has been getting worse. Even saying it was unhealthy is an understatement however I don’t know another technique to describe it. The corruption was systemic.

Are you able to give cases of corruption inside the police pressure?

For instance, in police stations, there are speculated to be assertion papers offered by the police authorities for officers investigating circumstances. There must be pen, uniforms and automobiles which have gasoline. However all these issues weren’t offered for policemen. As a policeman, one would purchase one’s sneakers, uniforms, pen, assertion papers, gasoline for patrol automobiles and ID playing cards. That is the place I fault the system and the police authorities for not doing effectively.

How did common law enforcement officials do their job from the time they started working until the time they left?

I was skilled on the Police Faculty, Ikeja (Lagos) and posted to the Railway Police Command, Ebute Metta. From there, I used to be transferred to the Police Divisional Headquarters, Ebute Metta junction. At 5:30am, one must be on the station, able to be despatched to 1’s responsibility submit. From there, one would go to the place one was despatched. If one was on the safety submit, one  should guarantee there was safety there.

There are many corrupt issues some policemen do; they intimidate individuals and search bribes. Policemen in Nigeria are probably the most highly effective set of individuals as a result of our legal guidelines permit them to get away with it. That’s the reason most policemen do all method of issues akin to committing homicide and getting away with something. The regulation says they will arrest and detain one in the event that they suspect one. They will break into one’s home if they believe that one thing improper is happening there and there’s no one to verify in the event that they took the suitable selections.

So, they can arrest and detain individuals and no person will ask them questions, besides when their actions have an effect on the wealthy, rich or political bigwigs. Or if the media pay money for the story and demand accountability. In any other case, an common Nigerian is on the mercy of a improper policeman.

 

Did you deliver the eye of the police authorities to the corrupt practices you seen earlier than you resigned?

No. It was a private choice. I had on many events stood my floor and I used to be fortunate to not be handled. There was a time they needed to get me into bother by posting me to improper locations as a result of I used to be talking in opposition to among the issues occurring. An Assistant Commissioner of Police who was very highly effective in Enugu State Police Command then stood in opposition to me. Sooner or later, I simply determined to go away. I used to be instructed I must pay some cash to the federal government. I paid three months’ wage again to the Central Financial institution of Nigeria and resigned.

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The #EndSARS marketing campaign is at present trending because of the brutality and harassment of youths by the police. What are you able to inform us about how they operated?

The system is soiled so the issue has at all times been there. Within the first place, the police are speculated to know the variety of ammunition every police officer takes on responsibility. However I can inform you that if the Inspector-Normal of Police stops a workforce of policemen now and calls for to know the variety of ammunition they’ve, they are going to have virtually three or 4 occasions the variety of ammunition they got on the station. The place do they get the ammunition from? If a policeman is aware of he has 10 rounds of ammunition he took from the workplace and has to account for the ammunition again at the station, he gained’t use it carelessly. However the issue is that ammunition is on sale. The police chiefs ought to go to any police checkpoint and verify the variety of ammunition they’ve, they are going to see that a few of them have 10 magazines every with them. What number of have been they given on the station or at their take-off level?

For one to be posted to the Particular Anti-Theft Squad, one must pay some huge cash to some individuals within the police to get it carried out. Being clever was not what one wanted to get there; they posted the individuals they needed there. So, SARS was not the issue, the issue is the system and the management of the police. It’s what you sow that you simply will reap; you can not ship criminals or hoodlums to go to a spot and count on them to carry out effectively.

It’s believed that when policemen gather bribes on the highway, they offer a part of it to their bosses within the workplace. Is that true?

Any individual can’t be at a checkpoint accumulating cash and giving steadiness publicly and nothing will likely be carried out about it if some individuals don’t need it that means. It’s reported by the media each time. If nothing goes to the individual that despatched them there, will they go there each different day? For instance, in each a part of the South-East, you’ll see policemen paying steadiness to motorists after accumulating bribes. Daily, they’re there.

Why has it been troublesome to cease policemen from accumulating bribes if their bosses actually need it to cease?

The system is the issue and no person desires bother, not even criminals. If criminals have a means of getting sufficient of what they need, they are going to sit right down to get pleasure from it. As I mentioned, the police stations don’t get gasoline or cash to take care of their automobile. In the event you go to police workshops, you’ll not see any of their automobiles being repaired as a result of there aren’t any spare components. It is rather like giving them the automobiles and saying: ‘Discover a means to place gasoline in it and do your work; nevertheless you need to do it.’ So that they have been given the liberty to do it as they need. I believe that’s the drawback. So how are you going to demand accountability? You despatched individuals to work for the general public however they put on their very own garments. The police tailors that sew police uniforms gather cash from them to stitch these garments. They purchase the sneakers they put on and different issues they want then go to the checkpoints. Do you count on them to carry out magic?

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Every time your colleagues did  one thing improper, how did you deal with it?

Many occasions, I used to be mad at them for taking bribes. It doesn’t solely damage the public, it additionally hurts the particular person taking the bribes as a result of it gained’t make them plan the best way to get out of the state of affairs. I refused to comply with them to anyplace they deliberate to get cash illegally. It was once I was working at Agege Railway Police Station that I began considering of what to do exterior the police as a result of I knew I didn’t belong there. I knew I might not be capable to survive there for lengthy as a result of the wage was poor and no person cared about my welfare.

If we have been in poor health and we went to the police hospital, there could be no medicine there. Many states didn’t also have a police hospital on the time so we have been on our personal. After the day’s work, I might promote akara (bean truffles) at Yaba market as a police constable. My spouse fried the akara. I might put them in a cooler and take to the market once I was not on responsibility and I made some cash from it. That helped me to face on my personal. However a policeman that’s at all times on the lookout for anyone to gather cash from won’t ever consider what to do exterior that illegality.

The Inspector-Normal of Police has banned the Federal Particular Anti-Theft Squad from going for patrol, do you assume it would curb the excesses of different items?

What number of occasions has the IG banned SARS? Has he not banned the police from taking cash for bail? Has he not banned the gathering of bribes by the police? Have the police stopped accumulating cash for bail? I’m uninterested in listening to that it has been banned as a result of the assertion quantities to nothing. Go to the villages now, you would possibly see individuals carrying SARS jackets and doing all method of issues.

Are you able to inform us one among your findings whereas within the pressure?

There was a time the deputy commissioner of police within the state was robbed in New Haven (Enugu). The then police commissioner within the state gave me the duty to look into the rationale why armed theft was rampant within the state. I found that criminals used to go to the police stations to get info from Divisional Police Officers and Divisional Crime Officers after morning briefings on Monday on the time. These criminals would dangle round from morning until night on Mondays. After the morning briefings, they’d ask the DPOs and DCOs in regards to the conferences and a few careless officers would share the end result with them. Some officers would inform them in regards to the raids the police deliberate to perform and so forth.

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The identical factor should still be taking place. We have been capable of curb it and theft incidents stopped in Enugu at the moment.

Policing is healthier carried out with intelligence. In case you are a policeman on the roadblock that had been arrange; everybody, together with thieves, can see that you’re a policeman. Thieves can move that route and you’ll not know they’re thieves however they already know what you do. So, roadblocks should not as efficient as intelligence. The police authority ought to discover a technique to collect intelligence as a result of so long as they hold neglecting the Felony Investigation and Intelligence Bureau arm of the police, Nigeria won’t ever win the conflict in opposition to crime and criminality as a result of preventive policing is healthier. Stopping crime from happening is the greatest technique to curb crime as a result of if one crime is allowed to happen, the criminals will commit one other crime to cowl up the primary crime. But when you’ll be able to cease one crime from taking place, you’ll be able to cease many different crimes from taking place.

As an illustration, in our time, we despatched younger boys to go to the Institute of Administration and Know-how, Enugu, to review there and lots of of them have been undercover brokers in varied cult teams and different gangs the place some criminals have been bred. So, they have been capable of cease many crimes earlier than they have been perpetuated. We additionally despatched some that have been aged to hitch transport unions and teams like that. A few of us turned safety guards in some institutions the place we thought crime was being perpetuated. We have been capable of decide one or two issues that helped us to cease crime from taking place. Today, you hear about bombing at present, the killing of a police officer the following day, and the invasion or burning of a police station the day after. And sadly, no person would know in regards to the incidents earlier than they occurred. It didn’t occur like that in these days as a result of no legal may plan and execute it alone.

An armed robber has a pickpocket as his pal; a pickpocket has a road fighter as his pal, and a road fighter has an harmless man as a pal. So, in some way the pickpocket will hear in regards to the actions of the armed robber and unknowingly leak it to the road fighter whereas bragging. If police have sources on the road, they are going to find out about crimes earlier than they occur and they’re going to be capable to nip them within the bud. Today, there are numerous devices accessible to help the police to do their work. We are able to spend money on them and get outcomes.

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Supply: Saturday PUNCH

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