Fidelis Ogili, a former police sergeant, has revealed that officers pay bribe to some persons in the Force before they get posted to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit.
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Ogili stated this in an interview with The PUNCH published on Saturday.
He disclosed that he retired from the police after spending about 17 years, due to “systemic corruption” that was “affecting his conscience”.
“I joined the police force on July 1, 1982 and left on May 31, 1999. I spent 16 years and 11 months in the Force. I retired as a police sergeant”, he said.
“I joined because I didn’t have a job but after joining the police, I discovered it was a noble profession despite the fact that it was bedevilled by a lot of bad things. However, it was the right place for me to start.
“At some point, I discovered that things were going wrong which I could not change and the issue was affecting my conscience So, I left voluntarily.
“It was very bad and it has been getting worse. Even saying it was bad is an understatement but I don’t know any other way to describe it. The corruption was systemic.
“For one to be posted to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, one would have to pay a lot of money to some people in the police to get it done. Being intelligent was not what one needed to get there; they posted the people they wanted there. So, SARS was not the problem, the problem is the system and the leadership of the police. It is what you sow that you will reap; you cannot send criminals or hoodlums to go to a place and expect them to perform well”.
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He faulted the system, saying police officers are to provide everything they use for their day-today official duties.
“For example, in police stations, there are supposed to be statement papers provided by the police authorities for officers investigating cases. There should be pen, uniforms and vehicles that have fuel. But all those things were not provided for policemen”, he also said.
“As a policeman, one would buy one’s shoes, uniforms, pen, statement papers, fuel for patrol cars and ID cards. This is where I fault the system and the police authorities for not doing well”.
The former police officer said the disbandment of SARS by Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), is a mere statement.
He said the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force is not committed to reforms, adding that police still collect bribes and bail.
“How many times has the IG banned SARS? Has he not banned the police from taking money for bail? Has he not banned the collection of bribes by the police? Have the police stopped collecting money for bail? I am tired of hearing that it has been banned because the statement amounts to nothing. Go to the villages now, you might see people wearing SARS jackets and doing all manner of things,” he further stated.