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Police Extortion at Checkpoint

By Mike Redford JD, (Criminal Law and Anti-Money laundering), Whitehouse, New Jersey, USA
 Published November 28th, 2011

President Goodluck must do something about improprieties of the Nigerian police. The President should re-evaluate the competency of Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim. Why are the police officers at the checkpoints checking motoristís car engine number? The checkpoint police officers have turned into criminals, when they can use force to extort money from motorists or when they can make a threat of use of deadly force to effectuate extortion. They have failed to observe standards or show due honesty or modesty; improper language, behavior, or character worthy of their uniforms. I read how the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhtari Ibrahim discredited local activists, who gave their lives fighting armed robbers. In that case Mr. Ibrahim has a lot of explaining to do. Where were his men? Mr. Ibrahim is aware of massive armed robbery in his state, police extortion and improprieties by his men. Mr. Ringim should be asking Mr. Ibrahim what is his short time plan in curbing crimes in his state and in conforming his police officers to the rule of law.

Checkpoint policemen are put in place to intercept kidnappers not to beat up army captain and his wife at Eid-el Kabir checkpoint in Bauchi. There is no doubt that these police officers are out of control, if the checkpoint police officers could beat up army captain and his wife, you can image what they can do to poor civilians. It is the duty of Nigerian Congress and House to legislate laws that address police misconduct. The task for Mr. Ringim is to enforce mission to enhance the quality of life in the city by working in accordance with constitutional rights to enforce the laws, preserve the peace and to reduce the fear of police criminal activities. The four types of police misconduct consist of verbal abuse, excessive force, unwarranted harassment and excessive extortion base on false deficient vehicular documents.

Nigerians should try using their camera phones or cameras to take pictures of any police misconduct. It is also necessary to obtain phones numbers of the potential witnesses and the more the number of witnesses the better to corroborate the incidence. Nigerians should report every police misconducts; give the circumstances in which their happened. Take a notice of what was said and done before the police began threatening you or started hurting the victims. Citizens must be polite at all the times. Do not give the police any reason to harass you because you are being disrespectful to the police officers. If you are asked for bribe, politely state that you have ran out of money because of previous bribes given out to other officers. Record these conversions whenever possible with your phone and deliver them to the media, TV stations, Newspapers and try to get name or badge number of the officers. This same process should be used against custom officers by the clearing agents doing similarly the same criminal acts at the wharf. President Goodluck should task Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim and Senator Idris Umar to create anonymous P.O. BOX accessible to the media alone to publicly denounce any incident report before giving Mr. Ringim and Senator Idris Umar opportunity to respectively address the incident publicly.

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