source: | Print Report

'The Police Is Your Friend'

Date Paid: | City: Abuja Municipal
Date Reported: 2012-12-04 15:58:34 | Department: Police Formation and Command

Transaction: Road blocks
Bribe Type: Personal
Detail: It was Friday November 30, 2012 when my 17h45 Aero flight from Lagos to Abuja eventually brought passengers into Abuja, landing at 01h17 December 1, 2012. By 01h30, I was out of the terminal building and trying to carefully select a cab. I was approached by two cab drivers, I asked to see some ID and took the one with ID belonging to the Airport Car Hire Association of Nigeria (ACHAN). Unfortunately, the car was bad. We jerked and spluttered all the way to Jabi and on Obafemi Awolowo Rd., near Mr. Biggs, the car finally gave up. This was now 02h15. Troubled that I was now alone on a lonely street with a hired car and potentially at the mercy of robbers, I came out of the car, called my wife and asked if she would come get me as I wasn't too far from home. Just then, a police patrol van came up behind us and four men with guns started questioning. I quickly volunteered my plight and explained my wife was coming to get me. The officer driving said call your wife, tell her not to bother, we will take you home (after I described where I live). I called my wife, told her and she panicked remembering all the stories we had heard of extra-judicial killings reportedly done by men of the anti-robbery squad SARS. I was to say no thanks and wait for her. But instead, I told her not to worry, I would come with the police as I was also concerned about her safety coming out at that hour. I got in the squad car, I heard the chatter on the radio with squad cars reporting in on their location and results of their surveillance confirming all was well and calm. I sat in the back sandwiched between two officers with guns. I broke the silence immediately and told them how I thought their job was hard, thankless and poorly appreciated. I cited Brekete Family show and the sad tales of police families struggling for the pension of their loved ones who died on duty or sick policemen begging for help with their medical bills. I became an instant celebrity, they brightened up and told me how truly thankful they are for that show. We got to the gate of my estate and I was very thankful as so many alternative endings raced through my mind. It could have been robbers not a police car that came by. They could have been rogue officers and not kind men and taken me away, robbed me and killed me. I reached my hand into my pocket and offered the four officers N1,000 each for the kindness they had shown me. They immediately rejected the offer and said they couldn't accept it from me. It was like I was in the 'Twilight Zone' or something more wierd and eerie as I was the one insisting that I had to reward them for their kindness. They protested N1000 each was too much and eventually accepted the money. They didnt drive off till I was safely inside the estate. What a night? How bizzare? I had never encountered the Nigeria Police so gallant and chivalrous, perhaps indeed, "The Police is Your Firend" as they say.

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