The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 2, Lagos, Lawal Shehu, has warned police officers who are involved in various forms of corrupt practices to desist hence they would be made to pay for their illicit acts. Lawal lamented that some officers were involved in corruption by collecting money for bail while it was crystal clear and written in all police stations that bail is free.
The AIG, who spoke at a training for police officers on human rights organised by the Crime Victims Foundation of Nigeria (CRIVIFON), however, mentioned that there were times police officers might not want to collect bribe but some desperate persons will still seek to offer it.
He said: “Collection of bail money is corruption. It is not only the question of human rights. It is a corrupt practice because that means the officer is extorting money from some innocent persons. If somebody is arrested, he or she should be investigated and given whatever punishment they deserve. If you go to many of our police stations, it is boldly written. But don’t forget, when it comes to corruption, both the giver and taker are offenders. Sometimes, the police may not want to be corrupt but they may be induced. That is why policemen also arrest for attempting to give bribes. It is an offence. But when someone is made to pay under duress, it is corruption and a report should be lodged against the officer.”
Founder of CRIVIFON, Mrs. Gloria Egbuji, noted that there were lots of abuses like a violation of human rights by police officers. “By research, we have realized that they are ignorant. Some of them don’t know that they are not supposed to collect money for bail; some of them don’t know what you don’t have to talk if you don’t want in a police station.
“We have discovered through research that these people are not knowledgeable about people’s rights so rather than stand by the side and criticize we felt it was good to educate them. We realized that some of them have never attended any course since they came out from Police College.”