END SARS CRUSADE AND MY PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE ROGUES: The campaign to end SARS (State Anti Robbery Squad) in Nigeria is to me a figure of literary speech called Litote. The alarm is nothing short of a litotical call. Litote is the opposite of Hyperbole. Litote (understatement).
Let me now narrate to you my own encounter with the stupid set of allegorical characters in uniform called SARS:
When sometime early this year I was petitioned to the Police State Command (Abakaliki) over my statement on the shamefully ousted National Chairman of the APC, Adamu Oshiohmole by a serving federal lawmaker from Ebonyi State and from my party and from my own local government area of origin, an action that transmuted to the law court, and you know when Police take you to court through a civil petition, your release is consequent upon court’s volitional discretion. Court sat very late that day and after fiery arguments, granted me bail under very stringent conditions.
The day was almost going sable. My lawyer and witnesses could not meet up with my stringent bail conditions that day, so it was either I slept in Prison custody or in the Police Cell. I was handcuffed and taken to the Prison, Abakaliki. Prison said that they were not taking fresh inmates due to Covid-19 menace.
Some phonecalls went sporadically which I knew were all against me. Already I had given my phone and wallet and bag to a witness to keep in his house. My fate was in the hands of God and the one who petitioned me and as well the court.
A directive came that I should be taken back to the State Command of the Police Force. I moved to the Command in company of my IPO. It’s almost 7PM. My traducer just drove out of the Command in convoy. I knew something had gone amiss against me.
I was taken to the SARS unit. A SARS officer rushed me in menacing alacrity as if to mean that the long wanted criminal had just been caught. He told me in clear terms:
So, you are the one disturbing my oga? Your own is over today. Shey na dis cell you go sleep tonight, we go pieces your legs with bullets”. I stared at him blankly and forgot. The O.C SARS, a Yoruba man was playing draft with other officers under an umbrella mango tree in front of the SARS office.
I walked up to him in handcuffs and narrated to him the threat issued to me by one of his officers. He asked about me. I replied him: Sir, I am not a common criminal. In fact, I am not a criminal and have never been arrested nor declared wanted by Police or any of the sister security agencies since I was born.
I am the current elected State Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ebonyi and a published creative writer. I am 28 years old (before I clocked 29 on May 4th). It’s just that the court didn’t sit on time, that’s what made me to be here. If the court had sat on time, I wouldn’t have come here”. He’s an elderly man.
It’s good to have an elderly person who’s not wayward. He replied: Okay, you are the one? Don’t mind; you’ll not sleep here. They’ll take you to Onuebonyi. Nobody will touch you”.
He stared at me in rhetorical admiration and commanded the IPO to take me to Onuebonyi. It was night already. We boarded a tricycle to Onuebonyi where I was put behind bars.
That was how I escaped the practical cruelty of the SARS that day.
THE POLICE IS THE MAJOR TROUBLE WITH THE NIGERIA SECURITY:
I was behind the counter at the police station that night. I was yet to be taken into the cell. A Jeep crawled into the premises of the Police Station. Behold, it was my traducer.
The entire police officers on duty paced outside to receive whom they addressed as oga (my traducer). I was the only one at the counter. If I had decided that I should escape, I had the opportunity to do so. I wasn’t in handcuffs at the time. *Oga began to share money to them and promised to promote some of them.
I could hear vividly their garrulous discussion and ecstasy. A command was issued against me. I could hear all of them. When after *oga drove off, they all came inside counting the naira notes given to them. They began threatening me. I was harassed into cell that night.
I didn’t come into the Police Station with anything apart from the money I gave to the *presido of the cell after I was beaten black and blue. I was hungry. Nothing to eat.
The cell as you might know was dark with sickening odour. No inmate saw each other’s face. The toilet room was open with very offensive odour. The floor as you might as well know was bare and dirty.
The inmates questioned me and from everyone’s statement as to why they found their way into the cell, I can tell you that the Nigeria Police is the worst in professionalism all over the world!
Day broke. My lawyer and witnesses had met with the conditions of my bailout.
The court had granted my release. But you know what, the Police refused releasing me. No reason for their action but you may as well deduce from the lines of narratives above the sinew of their unlawful action against me.
They denied my lawyer, Barr. Malachi Iteshi and Welfare Secretary of APC in Ebonyi who’s my very good friend, Rt. Hon. Ernest Nwaze and my witness access to me. They drove them out, saying that there’s a command that I should not be released.
The DPO whom I suspected to be an Ezaa man by his surname in cavalcade of a team of police men besieged the cell and called me out. The DPO himself said to me: You are a very stubborn young man. You are not afraid of personalities.
This your stubbornness will cost you a lot of things. Where’s that phone with which you just posted something on the Facebook? Bring it out now!”, he howled at me. I replied him: I didn’t come to the Police Station with any phone let alone bringing it inside the cell. I am not in possession of any phone here in the cell.
He continued: But something was posted in your Facebook account. Who posted it?” I replied: My traducer must have manipulated his way into my Facebook account so as to implicate me. It’s possible.
The DPO removed my cloth and I appeared naked from the head to the toe in front everyone including police women. I looked at him soulfully and said in monologue: If I decide to become a criminal tomorrow, you are my first target and members of your family and generation would all be maimed at clean sweep.
Then, I would hang myself. After thorough search, they didn’t find any phone on me. They pushed me back into cell. I slept over making it my two days in the cell when already my bail conditions had been met with. I only ate once throughout the two days. I ate *okpa which I almost vomited because of the offensive odour in the cell.
My lawyer and Nwaze swore that I was not going to sleep there the third day. They did what they did and I was released. I came back and reunited with my friends and members of the society with the matter for which I found myself for the very first and only time arrested by police, subjudice.
So, the SARS should not only be proscribed, the Nigeria Police Force should be worked on thoroughly. The physical appearance of the men of the SARS alone smacks of terror. You can’t strike a difference between them and Boko Haram insurgents.
They first become mere police officers before their induction into the murderous ring called SARS. And you know what, they are of no use to security of lives and property of Nigerians. Criminals known to be one are far better than them. They are the criminals known to government. They kill at will. And they don’t kill known criminals; they can’t just kill their partners.
But when you come across cultured police officers, you would be forced to rescinding your perception of the nomenclature called the Nigeria Police. It’s just that the good ones among them are very infinitesimal in percentage. Nigeria Police Force Registration 2020 Portal & How To Apply
It was writing by Nwoba Chika Nwoba,
Ebonyi State’s APC Publicity Secretary.
END SARS CRUSADE AND MY PERSONAL ENCOUNTER -FG Banned SARS.