One of the most notorious institutions we have in Nigeria today is the Nigerian Police Force.
What do I mean by notorious?
Let me cut the long story short with one illustration.
I got the news while in Kano that my neighbor in Port Harcourt (three of them living together) were involved in robbery and had been arrested. I was excited about the news and was hoping that, finally, those guys whom I had suspected to be criminals since they moved in were finally going to face the law.
I returned to PH last week only to see these guys still roaming and terrorizing the neighborhood (although they have been evicted from my lodge but still stay around).
How did they escape the law?
From what I heard, about N1million brought them out from the hands of SARS!
No court case, no legal procedure, no nothing. Just pay the agreed amount and get the criminals back to the society. Thats how the Nigerian Police works.
Every crime has a fixed amount. Theft, robbery, rape, and even murder! Once you have the cash, the Nigerian Police will help ensure that the case does not get to the judiciary. They will also persuade the victim into abandoning the case in your favor. There are many more…
Since the Police is not a a revenue generating institution, none of those funds get to the government. It ends in private pockets. Its an illegal money afterall…
Lagos State (which is trying to practice true federalism) is probably the only state in Nigeria that has brought in a bit of sanity to the Nigerian Police operating within its territory.
When a law enforcement institution becomes notoriously criminal in practice, you just wonder how soon Nigeria will become a better place.
They tell you bail is free… but we all know bail is not free… so whose account is all the bail cash getting into?
The Federal Government will be alarmed at how much the Police Force makes daily. None of these cash gets to the government.
Roadblock extortion from motorists is the least of the criminal acts by the Nigerian Police.
We need to restructure the Nigerian Police and entrench state policing while we maintain a small elite federal police force.