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Published On: Mon, Jul 21st, 2014

Are the police truly our friends?

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By Adekoya Boladale

Most people around the world have often talked about the deceit and con-ways of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to most foreigners who have not had the gracious opportunity of being hooked in the arms of the Nigeria Police Force but have drawn a conclusion based on the radiant sky blue camouflage of the few chiefs on media platforms are living in complete illusion of their projection.

Beyond the smiles of ‘happy weekend sir’ and the gesture of ‘oga sir’ lies one of the most Luciferious organization ever set up in human history. The name itself and the coat of arm are distinctly innocent of the plague that seems to be passed on from generation to generation in the force. Though the superstitious have argued that their inhuman ways are not unconnected with their black uniform which is regarded as an unpleasant symbol in the parlance of the monotheistic; this theory, however, has been proven to be untrue.

After reading the account of a now repented Assistant Superintendent of Police, you will agree with me that the sign posts at various ‘counters’ with phrases like ‘bail is free’, ‘police is your friend’ are nothing more than what they are, sign posts. Like me, you may finally decide to run every time a police officer approaches you and keep a far distance from any member of your family who unfortunately is a police officer, as one thing I have come to realize, the psychic of an average, innocent Nigerian changes automatically once he/she join the force.

Tajudeen is the only son of his parent; his father died when he was young and when he attained teenage-hood it became his responsibility to take care of his aged mother. Tajudeen didn’t have much education as he opted out of school after Junior Secondary School to begin the role of father and husband to his mum who have been down with tuberculosis for some months.

It is in this pursuit of happiness that Tajudeen took up a labour job at a construction site, this he does by day and by night he resumes at the mortuary where he washed the dead. On this fateful night Tajudeen closed late from the mortuary and had to trek 10 kilometres home from the morgue. With 3 kilometresdown and seven more to go Tajudeen noticed the approach of the police patrol van. This didn’t bother him as it is only normal that the police take a security check especially at this time of the night. Unfortunately for Tajudeen, the patrol that night was not a security check but a deep search for a look Rasaki lookalike and as misfortune would have it, Tajudeen fit the picture.

Taju was picked up, beaten and smuggled into the waiting police van without questioning. Arriving the police station, he was locked up in an inner cell and all his effort to speak or explain himself proved abortive. Few minutes later he was approached by three officers with the Police Chief who called him Rasaki, stunned and dumbfounded Tajudeen makes effort to correct the Chief that he is not Rasaki but every effort he makes was met with series of slaps and bootkicking. The police chief told Tajudeen that he is Rasaki, the renowned criminal who have been declared wanted by the force for long and these weapons (opening the bag with him) were found on him when they arrested him. In total shock and disarray Tajudeen could not believe his ears and eyes, not only has his identity been changed in New York time but he has been accused of committing crimes and given weapons he has never set his eyes on not to talk of operate.

A week later, Tajudeen was unveiled to the press as Rasaki and the now changed Tajudeen who seems to have gone through hell and back with noticeable signs of extreme torture was just nodding to all questions put to him. He has been tortured beyond sanity and seems to have accepted his fate. Tajudeen was arranged in Court and eventually sentenced to life in prison where he committed sucide after twenty years in prison.

The story of Tajudeen is one out of the many tales of terror innocent Nigerians have suffered in the hands of supposed enforcer of the law. Individuals who have been mistakenly shot only have tonnes of weapon placed beside their lifeless body as notorious criminal, stories of citizens who have been cheated, brutalized, lied upon and murdered for just being innocent. An institution engulfed in first degree corruption whose officers will trade anything to cut corners. Suspects are never investigated but assumes guilty once arrested, thousands are locked up in cells and prisons awaiting trials for crimes they know nothing about. Hundreds have been killed with little opportunity to tell their side of the story.

Until there is a complete overhaul of the Nigeria Police, please, when next you see them in unusual circumstances, run as fast as your leg can take you.

 

Adekoya Boladalevia adekoyaboladale@gmail.com.

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