Saturday, 4 November 2017

RAID AND BAIL BY THE NIGERIAN POLICE IN WARRI.

Police brutality is not a Nigerian thing or unique to Warri. All over the world there has been protest and complains of injustice and oppression especially from the police force. A former US police officer Jeronimo Yanez was recently acquitted of manslaughter in the shooting death of 32-year-old Philando Castile. 
Philando Castile A respected school nutritionist, was one of 233 African-Americans shot and killed by police in 2016. This is startling, considering it’s in the United States, the supposed land of the free. 
As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest freely from various forms of social injustice especially.
It was Carl T. Rowan that said that It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home, many of us have tweeted black lives matter, but only a hand few have lend their voices verbally or virtually about Raid and Bail by the police in Warri.

Nigerian Police Force have repeatedly said bail is free, but they have continually extort and oppress civilians through bail. While we have utmost respect for the Nigeria police, only a small fraction 20% of them believe civilians might be people. They have seen civilians as a tool or objects of exploitation especially if you’re an average Nigerian. 
NewWarri has seen the wrong, inequality and injustice from the police in Warri and we are speaking out about it, because this is our city. If we remain neutral in situations of injustice, we have chosen the side of the oppressor. We have visited the Area Command, Nigeria Police force Warri.
True patriotism hates injustice, especially in its own land more than anywhere else. On Tuesday the 17th of October we went to the Police Area Command, Warri we spoke with a high ranking officer.

What is Raid and Bail?
This is a strategy that Nigerian police officers are using to extort Nigerians. They go to a particular area and round up people especially young people and take them to the station without interrogation or questioning, because they know family members will come and bail them.

The Police don’t go out for raids except to specific locations that has been confirmed to be hideouts for criminals or they were informed about criminal or illegal operation taking place within a specific area and in this case, everyone within the vicinity is rounded up and taken to the station for questioning or interrogation. On such cases, those found innocent after interrogation are released without bail, irrespective of the time of the operation, if you’re found innocent, you’ll be released, he said” 

Now this is supposed to be the case with the raid and bail, but in Warri, the police go for these raids in the evenings and in the nights, and they are aware that they can’t carry out investigations that night, sadly the station/cells is not a place any Nigerian want to spend nights, so they make frantic efforts for the release of unfortunate family members or friends who has become victim of these raids, and here and there, the police demands for bail ranging from five thousand and above for release without any questioning or interrogation.
This is the modus operandi in Warri especially at B division. The last time I was there, on a case of Raid and Bail, (My elder brother who was arrested and I paid for blocks, before my elder brother was released) those rounded off were kept in separate room and money collected by a lady officer before they are released without questioning or interrogation.

Time and time again the police after rounding off civilians to the station in areas that cannot be classified as criminal hideouts or on information of criminal activities, will make excuse that the civilians were seen at very late in the night or indecently dressed.
Newwarri is not making case for indecent dressing or late night movements but hey, it’s their basic human right to dress the way they like or move when they want as long as they are not infringing on anybody’s right. The police are your friend but yet their house (station) and action is the most unfriendly place to be or endure.

Nothing in the entire world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and often time ignorance can make a person act foolishly.  Now that we have been informed, Join us spread the word, and come out against this form of injustice, they have no right to detain you, if you are innocent, don’t give them anything. They have come to realize that Nigerians are always in a hurry, so when they go out for these raids our loved ones will always come to bail them.

If only our holding cells can be as conducive like the ones we saw in Prison Break, nobody will hurry out when they know they are innocent.

#SayNoToRaidAndBail.

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