Abdullahi Afeez Shitu knows what I went through in the hands of policemen in Sokoto. We were traveling together before the arrest.
Arrested for attempting to prevent Jungle justice and to give out information of what was happening…
If I didn’t have connections or a good reputation, I would sleep in that police station and worse is, if I was a Nigerian definition of nobody, I may spend months there. The DPO yelled with disrespect, “Who do you know, who can you call?”
Throughout the drama, I didn’t fret…
I crossed my legs behind the counter, they asked me to sit we, told them I have issues with my leg except they’ll give me a bed.
Asked for my book and pen, they said I can’t write behind the counter, I asked what is my crime that makes me a criminal who can’t write behind the counter. “I want to write, you can see what I want to write”, I said.
I requested to go pray in a Mosque against behind the counter, they had to ask a policeman to follow me.
The DPO said I came to tarnish the image of Sokoto, called the Area Commander and told lots of lies.
I knew they wanted money but I wanted to see the height of their nonsense. They collected my glasses, wristwatch and sandals.
One of the officers said I can decide not to answer questions as whatever I say may be used against me in the court of law but he wouldn’t let me write the statement and was putting words in my mouth. I played along because I wanted to see enough of their nonsense and because I knew it’s not a criminal case.
After several interrogations and confirmation of the fact that I am not a criminal and has no evil intention, the DPO still said I would sleep in the cell and take to the state CID tomorrow.
At the end of the day, the DPO asked them to release me on bail but bail is not free. We negotiated to #10, 000 naira.
They wouldn’t collect a transfer, I think it was #8, 500 or #9, 000 I had in cash that they collected.
They asked me to delete the video and that they must never see it online.
Based on my different encounters with the Police, I am very sure they are worst than SARS.
Police brutality is a world wide phenomenon and Nigeria is not the most affected.
Other than the few good policemen I know, I don’t like the men in black, not at all.
That said, SARS or the whole NPF, an institutional reform is what I consider the best thing the government could do.
Those who call for the end of SARS have points, they are not stupid. It is the several unenforceable reformation that has made the people lose hope.
Should there be any reformation and it is not enforced, the commotion that would follow it would be historical.
Officers of the NPF, before you kill us, we are your family… Protesters, before you burn police stations, consider that the insecurity that would follow would surpass whatever it is that you’re fighting.
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman