Those who said “corruption walks on four legs in Nigeria” couldn’t have been wrong after all. Every sector in the country is heavily infested with corrupt elements.
An officer of the Nigerian Police Force was recently caught on camera trying to extort N 25,000 from a motorist as the motorist who recorded the video negotiated. Both haggled over the price as if a commodity was up for sale.
The 2-minute clip opened with the glove compartment of an unidentified vehicle showing while two voices could be heard. The owner of the vehicle was apparently stopped for a violation before the officer entered. The voice of the officer could be heard as he issued a threat, “once we enter that compound, I no dey follow you talk pim.” Then came the driver’s voice, “I don’t have N 25,000…” he was cut short by the officer who said “okay, talk better thing make you dey go your way. I say talk better thing make you turn here dey go your airport.”
The offender however remained unyielding as he pleaded “I don’t have more than N 2,000” . The officer seemed a bit annoyed and said “okay, make we dey go”. The motorist changed the mode of his plea as he asked “if you want to help me, must I pay N 25,000? But I told you I just bought my ticket. Do you want me to show you? My ticket is there in the car, I just got it now”.
The officer who sounded unconvinced spoke again, “what you are saying is very fat, I say talk better thing make you go your way. Understand me, I know there is no way you can raise N 25,000. I am a man like you,” he said. The driver’s response was “oga, if you are a man like me…” the officer however cut him short as he said “moreover, I am not working alone”. The errant driver too interjected, “you know I won’t stand on that ground and risk paying (a) bigger amount”.
Sensing that the man wasn’t willing to add anything to the N 2,000 he was offering, the officer said “let me call them in your presence, I am not working alone.” The offender who seemed to have gained more confidence too replied, “see I don’t have. I don’t live here, I came here to collect something. I have N 5,000 on me. If I cannot, at least, I am going back to Ajah, I am coming back to the airport tomorrow. How do you want me to do it? Should I show you my ticket,” he asked.
“Listen,” the policeman said “no be $ 50, $20 and other dollars dey there?” Not allowing himself to be boxed into a corner by the officer who had sighted some dollar bills on him, the man pleaded again, “I told you I have to pay excess luggage, that was why I offered you…” the officer cut in again, “so all those $50 and other dollars, you will use all of them for excess luggage? Now we dey speak grammar but by the time wey speech no go dey two of us, though e go dey my own because I go continue my work,” the policeman said. “Oga, I don’t have,” the motorist insisted. “You don’t,” the police officer repeated for emphasis. At that point, the officer’s face came into view, revealing the three stripes of a Sergeant on the arm of his shirt. The man spoke again, “you cannot help me because I cannot put more money to the N 2,000,” to which the Sergeant replied “don’t worry, I have related with you like (a) man. Don’t bother”. The motorist too replied, “have I not spoken to you like a man to tell you what I have?”
Not showing any sign of running out of patience, the officer said “if it is possible, from that side, you think I will still be inside your car?” The motorist too replied with a question, “so you think I will waste my time if I have more money to add?” The determined officer spoke again, “oga, answer me, I am not working alone. If I am working alone, even if na N 1,000 you give me, I will collect from you and nobody will query me.” Then he was seen making a call on his cell phone. ‘Hello, Wasiu, yeah, Wasiu, I beg, the motor, that jeep wen I carry comot from here, ehn, hes not ready. Just tell oga make he book am I beg. No, he no dey ready, he dey beg me N 2,000,’ he told the person at the other end.
On Tuesday, the Lagos State Police Command has disclosed that the officer, a Sergeant attached to the Lagos State Command Motor Traffic Division has been identified and he is awaiting an orderly room trial.. A Facebook post from the command read: “The Inspector General of Police IGP MD Abubakar has directed the Commissioner of Police Lagos State to ensure that the orderly room trial is concluded in record time.”
By Wednesday evening, a message on the Twitter account of the Nigerian Police Force announced the officer’s dismissal. It read “Nigeria Police Force dismisses No 192954 Sgt Chris Omeleze from service.”