PLEASE READ! Benue Police Again? Is This For Real?
By Awunah Pius Terwase
Few days ago a police officer from E Division Makurdi went and arrested a criminal and while taking him to the station, he pushed the officer down from the motorcycle that was conveying the two of them and jumped off the motorcycle. This happened within Akpehe area of Makurdi.
According to an eye witness, the officer was after the criminal in question, shouting thief thief…….and that attracted the attention of the residents who came out from their houses to see if they can help. The eye witness further told me that the criminal was given the officer a wide gap to the point that he could no longer locate the direction of this thief. He also said that the commercial motorcyclists who were there wanted to assist but later realized that the officer chasing the criminal is one among the officers at E Division Police Station Makurdi that do harass them (Commercial Motorcyclists). They were rather laughing at him instead of assisting him. While coming back after being unable to catch up with the criminal, he turned to a house by the road side where he ran passed when chasing the thief and saw Mr. Paul Nongo, who is the son to the land lord and told him that a criminal ran into their home but Mr. Paul denied seeing anybody, Paul said. Thereafter, Paul’s Mother, who was taking her bath, was called to come out and the officer still repeated the same thing that he was pursuing a criminal and he ran into their house. Then, the mother told him that as he can see she is just coming out of the bath room and she is not aware of anything he is saying.
The officer went back to the station and told his boss, the DPO that he was coming with the criminal and he escaped, ran into a house but the owner of the house asked him to bring search warrant before he will be allowed to search the house. I interviewed the woman in question and this is what she said: “Nobody stopped him from searching the house. When he came he did not even let us know that he wanted to search the house, he only said to us that a criminal ran into our house and we told him that we did not see anybody”. Now, when the officer reported to his boss, more police officers were given to come and search the house. They came, searched the house but found nobody but they claimed that they have seen footsteps of the criminal.
However, they left, came back again and arrested the woman, Mrs. Regina Nongo, took her to the station and detained her. I went to the station to see things myself and this is what I saw. The female officer in-charge of the case demanded for one thousand naira (N1000) from Mrs. Nongo and I asked why? She told me is to buy a case file and take her statement, and the N1000 was given to her. According to Mrs. Regina Nongo, when taking her statement, the female officer insisted that she should admit that she told the officer to bring the search warrant when the officer wanted to search the house but she refused to accept because she did not said anything of such to the officer and the officer did not even told her that he wanted to search the house.
Mrs. Regina’s husband, Mr. Andrew Nongo, later arrived at the station from his office and I was there. He wanted to see his wife and one of the officers at the counter, collected N500 from him before he was allowed to see her. After detaining Mrs. Nongo, her husband was asked to bring N3000 to bail his wife. He gave it to the female officer in-charge of the case and his wife was released on bail. The case is still on.
A lot of illegalities have been already committed by the police in this case. I stand to be corrected. Bail is free but police collected N3000 from the woman’s husband in the name of bail. Police also collected N1000 from the woman to buy a case file and take her statement. Was that right? Police even collected N500 from the husband before allowing him to see his wife. Was that right? I witnessed all these. Is it not obvious that the officer failed in his duty and he is looking for whom to blame for his failure?
I will follow the case to the conclusion because it is not over yet.