Bribe taking Nigerian policemen on Nigerian roads is synonymous to Nigeria Police Force. Efforts by government to stop the menace has not yielded any positive result.
But some said government hasn’t really shown the will to stop such a degrading act while on duty performing their responsibility.
“Bribery is the act of giving or receiving something of value in exchange for some kind of influence or action in return, that the recipient would otherwise not alter. Bribery is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty,” Wikipdia
The receiver and giver commit an offence in a country where rules are obeyed.
In Nigeria, it’s no longer news when you report a bribe taking police men. Commuters are used to such act.
When a commercial driver isn’t ready to ‘corporate’ with policemen on the road, passengers are usually quick to say, “Please answer these people for us to leave here.”
Commercial drivers have better understanding of them too, thereby making the situation more complicated.
What of if drivers abide by the laid down rules?
“Even if your papers are complete, they’ll find another means of levying offence on you,” a driver told infobase.
“If we don’t give them, they will delay us unnecessarily,” the driver said under anonymity to avoid a backlash from officers because he plies the route regularly. “In fact, we add police extortion fee to passengers transport fare. I can’t run from them because I follow this road everyday,” a driver told an investigative journalist with the Premium Times.
The online news media recently caught two Nigerian policemen on the road, where they were exploiting road users.
Bribe taking Nigerian policemen were on Ijebu Ode-Ibadan Road in Ogun State “making daily salary”. It’s become part of them.
One these ” good” police men was identified as Oyewole Afolabi , who was caught collecting N50 from a bus driver who was conveying passengers to Ibadan from Ajah, Lagos State last week.
The second officer, Eniola Olaiya, was captured on camera by Premium Times as the same driver crossed the Oyo State border with Ogun State into Ibadan.
The situation is the same on Ilesa-Akure road, where more than five roadblocks are mounted between Omo-Ijesa to Ipetu-Ijesa, Osun State.
Also, OSBC-Ibokun road is the same, where policemen mount roadblocks to exploit road users.
“Police officers have continued the culture of extortion at checkpoints despite decades of condemnation by the Nigerian public and foreign think-tanks. Mounting roadblocks is one of the easiest ways for officers to shakedown motorists,” Premium Times says.
Why do we have Bribe taking Nigerian policemen?
Poor remuneration has been cited as one of the reasons, but this act isn’t limited to the junior officers.
Senior police officers, who collect N120,000 per month or more, also take bribe right in their offices. So it’s extremely difficult to attribute bribe taking to poor remuneration.
” Pay the most junior police officer in Nigeria N1,000,00 per month he’ll still go to the road to take N50 or N100 as bribe,” a social commentator, Ibrahim Adeyemi said.
“It has become part of them,” he pointed out.
Is it only the Nigerian police?
No. Every Nigerian security operatives on Nigerian roads are the same. The officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) who used to be nightmare to commercial drivers in the 1990s have now lost their integrity.
At a time they FRSC officials threatened to start taking bribes.
They are everywhere on Nigerian roads taking bribe in the most sophisticated way. They inspect vehicle papers, and road worthiness of vehicle, but commercial drivers on Nigerian roads now put N200 or above inside their vehicle paper the FRSC officials are expected to inspect.
Instead of inspection, they secretly remove the N200 and return the papers back to the driver.
Irrespective of your offenses-bad tire, no fire extinguisher, expired vehicle paper-FRSC do not care in as much you ‘corporate’ with them.
Soldiers who used to be known for integrity now take bribes on some Nigerian roads. “Taking bribe is an act or irresponsibility,” said Adeyemi.
The question now is:
Do we still have have a responsible police officer in Nigeria?
Yes we do, but they are very rare to come by.