Policemen requesting money, bribe per se, from victims to prosecute criminals is impunity taken too far. A herbalist raped a disabled minor in Itele community of Ogun state and was subsequently arrested upon reporting, but now that it’s time for arraignment, the Divisional Police Office needs a token to take the case to court. The only alternative is the victim’s father finding means of transporting them (policemen, the victim, the suspect, witnesses and others) to the court by himself. The is not only callous but also criminal. The Criminal Procedure Act reserves the steps to be taken from arraignment to sentencing to law enforcement officers.
If we experience such actions, what then is the essence of us having a police force? Now, the officer in charge of the division has withheld his name, and twisted the story in many ways, all in a bit to escape being condemned. The incident reflects the height of impunity we could find with civil officials. Similarly, Olawale Raji’s young daughter was almost kidnapped last September, but instead of the police taking this up as expected, they requested his car to trail the criminals. Alternatively, he could provide money for fuel.
Until the police force sets up a mechanism that specifically checks this and punishes erring stations or officers, we may have to continue paying for our own security over again, after paying for it through tax. The primary functions of our policemen are to arrest offenders, prevent crime occurrence, protect lives and properties, detect crime and maintain law and order. Citizens have full rights to all these. We need a strong mechanism from the police authority that ensures this inhumane act is stamped out.