Police not Corrupt; Rtd. DSP Offers Solutions to Criticisms…
A retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. Clement Odigie has called on Nigerian authorities to revive the old practices of supplying free uniforms and kits to all officers and men of Nigerian Police. He made the call during an exclusive interview with a correspondent of PublicTimes online newspaper. The call is to invite attention to the need to harmonize uniformity in police dressings, as well as assist to promote comportment among Policemen, he said. A situation whereby police now wear different shoes including rubber-made shoes as long as it is black, does not augur well for service delivery, he added.
Mr. Odigie is enthusiastic about Police development given by what he said; their primary duty is to protect life and property and that “in the police, the men are ready to work but they don’t have materials to work.” He further disclosed that many of the officers that are carrying guns around are Master’s Degrees holders. But many civilians look at them as schools dropout. I can assure you that most policemen as at now are graduates.
He recalled with nostalgia how the Police authorities fixed a special day for policemen to gather in various divisions for “show themselves,” – an occasion where policemen had shinning shoe parade, showing of dressing for neatness and comportment for work.
He further reiterated the need to monitor the delivery of the uniforms, kits, materials and other tools that are meant for the policemen so that the equipment could reach the end for which funds were released. Beside, it will also stem the frequent use of police uniform by criminals who hitherto could readily find these uniforms to purchase if they were sold in civilian shops. He solicited for restoration of police tailoring services where sewing of uniforms are coordinated and issuance regulated.
On corruption, the Deputy Superintendent of Police defended the police as he said “police are not corrupt.” The people who complain about police are people who are corrupting the police. He explained that he had worked as general duty man in the Nigerian Police for several years and that his experience at the counter showed that people will come and complain after which they will immediately be saying that their time should not be wasted.
They will even say that they bring money for police to fuel their vehicle or they bring vehicle or they bring Okada for the police to go with them to effect arrest of suspects or to control crime or commotion. The same thing happens with the issue of bail, he further said.
He asserted that bail is free. He also said that if people could assert their right, they will realize that bail is free, it is very free. But where people get involved is that, if you have a brother or sister who is detained, the police will be working on the arrangement of the documents, if it is a bail-able offence the surety has to sign documents that he will bring the suspect or accused person whenever needed. But if the surety fails to bring that person, the police will take the surety to court. People often like to dodge all those inconveniences that might happen to them. So, whether police ask them to bring money or not, they give willingly. In some instances, the police will not even demand money for bail before the people will be saying; officer please take, the people often did this while they were filling the form. As an educated person, if any one demands money for bail, you should show them on the wall that the adverts they paste in their stations showed that bail is free. You should tell them that your man is on bail-able offence, challenge them if they ask for money and ask them why they want you to bring money before you can sign documents with them.
But when the delay is too much, you should request to see the DPO or the DCO of the station to complain. If you say you want to see the DCO or DPO nobody will disallow you to see the two senior officers and they will fear that if they refused to release the person, you can go to CP office or CPR and anywhere the DCO or DPO is, they will locate them. It is people that are always in haste, even the educated people fall victim to this. I want my brother to go home, he was been in cell for three days and they will ask you to bring N2,000, N3,000. Tell them you don’t have money because it is written at their station that bail is free, ask them why they now change it not to be free. If you spend any money on bail, you have spent it at you own instance.
On certain other occasions, you may even have come for another thing but the way they courteously attend to you might impress you such that do not ask you to bring something before you put hands in your pocket to give them willingly. That is a different situation. If there is any fault in the police system it is from the head, he said.
He called on the Inspector General of Police to take great interest to work out effective methods for the maintenance of Police property; Barracks, Offices, vehicles and machineries so that he will ensure that Government finances are spent as budgeted.
Concerning the call for ban on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Police, he advised that it should not be scrapped. He sees those that are clamoring for the removal of SARS, whether they are within the Government or outside, as criminals who don’t want to be disturbed in their unlawful acts. When there is robbery of a serious one; police authorities will move SARS to the place with their surveillance. Even in situations of harden team of arm robbers of 30-40 numbers, they will be able to get them. SARS men and the Mobile policemen can go anyplace as far as operations are concerned. Any type of operation whether they are prepares or not, they are ready to move there because they have been so trained and they will find solution to the problem. They are like the military but modified for civil setting. Mr. Clement Odigie said he had worked as mobile police man for 3 years and that it will be useful to let people know that difficult tasks that other police personnel cannot achieve, Mobile and SARS can successfully do it. SARS is a section of Police that have been headed by A senior Police Office of a rank of Superintendent of Police (SP).
Concerning retirement, he lamented his placement on Insurance Pension’s Scheme because it was under the scheme that his pension’s salary had turned meager. He said he is now being paid by an Insurance company and not by the Government he had worked for 35years. He said his pension’s salary now as a Deputy Superintendent is under N30,000. He regretted aloud that; “those that are using our money are now building houses; buying big cars, whereas, we that suffered for 35 years are dying on our way going to get our pension. The older Police whose salaries are being paid by the Federal Government have salaries better than our own although theirs are not as regular as our own. The journey of our retirement has taken us to farm again as if we did not do government work.”
He advised that the people should not run away from the police. Rather, they should be friendly with them and be giving them information. He stated that a trained police officer will be able to defend and protect the person who gives him or her information, more so that there are laws guiding the giving of information to the police. Under the law, Police should not expose the source of their information. Besides, not all the policemen are wayward, he affirmed.
He also advised the police that the duty that they are asked to do should be their priority and they should do it without fear and favor. He added that since they have decided to join the police they should do the work. Police should not increase somebody’s problem or decrease it. They should do their work according to the law. DSP Clement Odigie tasked Police officers and men to build people’s confidence in Police, somebody that commits robbery should be prosecuted like a robber not as a pickpocket, he said.