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MY ENCOUNTER AT A NIGERIAN POLICE STATION (PART 3)

Seun Igbalode Written by Seun Igbalode · 1 min read >

The antagonist in the third case was a woman who was described as a serial troublemaker. Two ladies had come to the police station to document their complaints against the woman. One of the ladies had allegedly been verbally assaulted by the ‘notorious’ lady while the other lady was her sister who had obviously egged her on to make the formal complaint.

The case (in my opinion) bordered around unlawful accusation, assassination of character and perhaps threats, depending on how far it could be legally stretched.

So irksome was this troublemaker, according to these ladies, that the woman’s husband had failed to rein her in on several occasions when she fomented trouble and went ballistic on their neighbours.

The main complainant said she had been at the receiving end of the lady’s verbal assaults but had received the insults with dignity, choosing peace over war so as not to escalate the situation. This time around, the lady taunted her with accusations of having a romantic affair with her husband while also threatening to beat her up, hence the petition and visit to the police station.

The policeman asked if she had an audio recording of the threats or whether she could get any of their neighbours to corroborate the assaults. The lady did not record the vituperations of her neighbour over the phone and doubted if any of their neighbours to come to the police station to attest to her accusations against her neighbour.

The policeman said the best option would be to invite the troublesome neighbour based on the petition, hear her own side of the story, and perhaps read her the riot act to a cease-and-desist from causing trouble. Even at that, it would be the word of the complainant against that of the accused.     

The complainant’s sister had a better idea: what if the accused was caught in the act? What if she was recorded? The likelihood that her sister would be attacked in the compound again was very high: perhaps it could be physical this time around. Since their place of abode was not too far from the police station, can she call him so he can come as quickly as possible if he was on duty? And perhaps if he was not, can he delegate that duty to another officer?    

She put her money where her mouth was and passed money across to the officer, obviously to bribe him.

I saw his countenance change upon receiving the gift which, this time around, was unsolicited. When she started with the suggestions, he appeared disinterested and perhaps wanted to be done with their case as quickly as possible.

The ‘gift’ clearly reignited his interest in the case. He quickly gave the lady his number and stated his readiness to show up and possibly effect an arrest if all goes according to plan.

Not too long after they said their goodbyes, the policewoman approached me with my police report. I must have spent close to three hours at the police station waiting for the extract. I did not plan to spend that long, but somehow, I am glad I witnessed those actions.

The truth is, the kind of policemen we have is a reflection of the Nigerian society.

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