Police Brutality- “A Vice Versa Deserving Treatment for the Police Force
Looking back at the October 20th 2020 #EndSARS event which caused calamitous memories in the hearts of thousands of youths and their families across Nigeria, especially Lagos State (The Lekki Toll Gate Massacre), Nigerians would agree with me that police brutality is not a new menace in this country Nigeria. Before the protest was held, there have been reports of how members of the police force harass innocent Nigeria citizens with proven evidences both eye witnesses and video coverages. In view of this, this piece’s purpose is to address the fact that, after many panels were set up to look into this matter, presidency promising reforms amongst the police force, there has been no significant or satisfactory change. Instead, it’s getting worse and the lacuna is getting more widened as the days go by and prompt and lasting action needs to be taken to bring an abrupt end to this social pain.
Just recently, on Monday 15th May 2023, Seun Kuti- son of the legendary Afro maestro Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was arrested for allegedly slapping a police officer precisely on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos. Realistically and legally, this doesn’t seem or sound too good to the ears but can’t we say it’s a matter of ” one been paid back in his coin”? Before the twinkle of an eye, the Inspector General of police ordered the immediate arrest of the musician-Seun Kuti for commiting an offence which is punishable under the section 56 of the criminal code act to physically confront an officer of the law. Oh! Now, the leadership of the police force can take prompt action towards a case of police dishonour and ridicule? So, we know that ” it’s more than easy for the dog to jealously feed its own child”.
In this issue, I make bold to say; there is no fairness on the part of the police force as far the rule of law is concerned. According to the rule of law, there should be equity of treatment for every citizen before the law. Just this same week, two specific videos went viral on social media of two uniformed police officers; caning a woman with whips for what reason God knows and the other which reportedly occurred at Abule-Egba under bridge showing how an Okada(bike) rider was ferociously injured by about four police men. Is this the training given to these so-called officers of the law to unnecessarily use their chances to intimidate people on the streets? Of course not, it shouldn’t be. I have to stress here, that I haven’t heard or confirmed any report through the media that the IG has summoned the officers involved in these above-mentioned cases or done anything about them. But that of Seun’s err was overly exaggerated. Let the those involved in all these atrocities remember that the only true incorruptible judge is up above to reward us all according to the works of our hands.
In this light, it was disseminated on more than one dailies on Friday 19th May 2023 that Seun Kuti’s detention should be extended by four days even after he was first granted bail on the 16th of May but it wasn’t said of the police officer who was said to have been drunk and almost kicked the musician and his family off the road with reckless driving; that any sanction or punishment was meted out to him by the police.
Conclusively, if the Nigerian Police Force and the Federal Government of Nigeria do not put a lasting end to this menace, it would remain a serious bane in the necks of all of us in this country, especially the masses and occurrence of this nature(physical assaults between police and the masses)is bound to resurface over and over again. Also, let the supremacy of the law take it’s full place and stop applying it on only the vulnerable masses while the uniformed and the highly placed wallow in self vindication and undeserved immunity.