In most Police Stations you go to, you will see the banners saying POLICE ARE YOUR FRIENDS as well as BAIL IS FREE. If these inscriptions are subject to debate, it will generate a lot of controversies with people expressing various sentiments against particularly the Nigeria Police Force. I belong to the school of thought that says there is no profession without its bad eggs be, it Legal Profession, Medicine, Accountancy, Engineering, Education, Military and just mention any profession. Whatever sentiment one may express against the Police, one thing that is very clear to me is that there are fine gentlemen and women in the Nigeria Police Force.
During my University days in Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University Sokoto, we had a top police officer in our class who was a very wonderful man. He never felt so big to join us in various group discussions and often made brilliant contributions when we were discussing. He was indeed a very good friend to all of us The man was so humble that I always express the feeling that how I wish majority of police men and women are like him. I think he eventually retired from the Force as a DIG or AIG .I have been privilege to meet with many fine gentlemen and women in the Nigeria Police. I have just cited only one, there are many of them.
But as in other professions, there are still many black sheep within the Nigeria Police that is given it bad names. There was a very disheartening story in the press recently that in Ilorin some Policemen raided some people and sold them to the ritualists . A newspaper columnist once said that some members of the Police Force behaved like toll collectors. The advice am going to give here is not only to the Police Authorities but to all other Authorities in charge of various professions. We should all devise the mechanism to discover the black sheep in various professions and not only send them packing but also let them face the law for the appropriate sanctions to serve as deterrent to other criminal minded people in the system. Except this is done, we shall all liable to be condemned for the sins of the black sheep in our minds. Before I rest my case, let us hear from the first woman to sit on the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court bench and capped it with the First Female CJN. What did she say on a Police man who engaged in recklessness?
ON POLICE RECKLESSNESS
Indeed, the evidence before the trial court was quite overwhelming and points to the guilt of the appellant. Situation like this whereby policeman rashly bring out their guns (albeit to merely threaten or frighten citizens) is rapidly becoming rampant. They are meant to use the guns to safeguard the lives of the citizenry they are paid to protect, but the reverse is the case. A policeman will not hesitate to pull the trigger of his gun at the slightest provocation, and would indeed do that with relish and reckless abandon, not caring whether the consequence of his act will be fatal. The incident in the instant cases is a locus classicus. A law enforcement agent who is supposed to bring sanity and order on the road brings out his gun and fires it just because a driver obstructs his right of passage (that is even if there was an obstruction, as the evidence in court is that there wasn’t). In fact the mere fact that he deemed it necessary to bring out a gun from wherever he had kept it is enough act of recklessness, even if no shot was fired, and in this case there is ample evidence that it was. I believe such rash act must be stopped to prevent innocent lives from being wasted.
Per MUKHTAR, JSC (as he then was) in Agbo Vs. The State (2006) 6 NWLR (Pt. 977) Pg. 586 Paras A-D.
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