The Nigeria police force was an agency established by government for the purpose of enforcing law and order in the society but it is quite unfortunate that the men of this force have over the years refused to align themselves with the goals and objectives of the institution. Corruption in the police has been in existence from time immemoriam and it has continued to grow among men who were suppose to help in eradicating this menace. From high ranking police officers to the constables, these men have become enemies of the people because they have failed in rendering the needed assistance to the public whenever and wherever. The police create more trouble for the citizens rather than protect their lives and properties.
Gone are the days when men of the Nigeria police were devoted to their duties but the crop of policemen in the country today are dishonest, indisciplined and corrupt. They are individuals who needs to be charged with different crimes of bribery and corruption. The exposure of crimes committed by two former Inspector-General of Police in recent times is a pointer to the fact that bribery and corruption is within the rank and file of the force. These two men were at different times sitting atop a police force that was meant to curb the issue of crime and violence in our society but apparently , they were perpetuating some heinous crimes while overseeing the affairs of men saddled with responsibility of enforcing law and order.
So many high ranking policemen cannot deny having their share of the monies collected from commercial vehicle drivers by junior officers whom they often send out for this purpose. The policemen have ignore their main duties and mount unnecessary road blocks for settlement. These hungry police officers sometimes force individuals who refuse to ‘settle’ them and threaten to shoot them. It is surprising how, many Nigerians give men of the Nigeria Police illegitimate money out of fear. This has resulted in lack of respect for the police.
Furthermore, the police demand bribes from private car owners and they do not respect the fundamental human rights of citizens. Transporters and motorists without valid vehicle particulars are guaranteed of movement, if only they could pay a certain amount of money and this happens on a regular basis. Hence, both commercial and private vehicle owners may not renew their licenses as long as they are willing to part ways with some amount of money. The Lagos State Police Command through its Public Relations Officers have always denied any knowledge of this ongoing bribery and corruption among their men but it is a common knowledge that men of the Nigeria police collect money from citizens. Even when some high ranking officers admit that they are aware of this unprofessional act, the problem has for a long time remain unaddressed by them. They couldn’t have stopped the growing trend anyway, since these policemen that violate the laws of the land were sent by their bosses as earlier mentioned. Nigeria Police have also become tools in the hands of politicians, allowing themselves to be used for different election malpractices across the nation. There is an endemic structural problem in the police and something drastic needs to be done by those in position of authority to redeem the image of Nigeria Police force which has been tarnished.
The extortion of money, frequent killing of innocent and unarmed citizens as well as cases of police brutality and threats is fast becoming a norm in our society.
Social miscreants, otherwise known as area boys who disrupt law and order and often intimidate fellow citizens are spared without any arrest by these policemen. It is high time the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission began to monitor the affairs of some divisional police officers and other top police officials who send their men out for the purpose of bribery and corruption. There is no certainty that a huge increment in the salaries of police officers would reduce this unwholesome habit as they already take delight in the collection of bribe from their fellow countrymen. Most of them are satisfied with the amount they get from their daily operations and do not care much about the salary.
It is also no more news that the policemen hire out guns to armed robbers and sometime engage in robbery but nothing has been done about it. So far, the institution cannot claim any success on its operations because there are many unresolved cases in its record. The police have not been able to expose the killers of late Chief Bola Ige, Dr. Harry Marshal, Funsho Willians and just recently Abayomi Ogundeji to mention but a few. They connive with armed robbers and assassins to commit crime instead of combating crime. To this end, the police force needs to be sanitized in order to remove the two many bad eggs that are determined to grind the force to a halt with their incredible performance of duties. The harassment and frequent killing of unarmed citizens should be curtailed by the current Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro. Innocent citizens who are in police cells should be granted bail and freed.