AUSTIN OMOS OYIBODE, EDITOR
Prince Kehinde Taiga, chairman of Delta state chapter of the Committee for Defense of Human Rights, has said that guns should be withdrawn from police officers in Nigeria, noting that their possession of guns is making them power drunk, thereby taking lives of innocent Nigerians with impunity.
In the place of guns, Taiga said sticks should be given to them saying they should know how to use sticks to stone robbers and when the sticks hold their two legs, they will fall and they can get hold of them.
Taiga said: “So, they should revert Nigerian police back to the days they were using sticks. They should go back to the stick because they do not know how to control their temper, hence they take laws into their hands and kill people unnecessarily.”
He said the Nigeria police that was established to protect lives and property have turned from their primary responsibility to taking lives they were established to protect, adding that besides taking lives, they extort money from road users and other citizens with flimsy excuses.
He faulted the police for tagging youths seen with expensive cars as yahoo boys, saying: “They are now arresting young boys driving big cars. Their main purpose of arresting them is not even to investigate them but to extort money from them.
“Imagine a DPO who owns a duplex that worth 40 something million. How much is his salary. If not that he is indulging in criminal acts. I will say it categorically that Nigeria police are more of criminals than the criminals they are going after.
“Once they see a young man riding a big car, they see him as a yahoo boy. By the laws of Nigeria, your phone is your privacy. Before anybody could search your phone, he needs a search warrant.
But Nigeria police no longer operate within the ambit of that law. They do whatever they like. If you are from the rich home you are untouchable, if you are from the poor, they do with you anything they like and go scot free.
“When they apprehend any suspect, do you know what comes to their mind, is how much are they going to make from this case? And once that is established, there is no way you can get justice.
“But when they know you have connection, you are also a member of the cabals, they will sheathe their swords. But when they know you are a member of the democracy, they will force their swords on you.”
He therefore called on the Delta state commissioner of police, Adeleke Adeyinka, to issue a statement that whoever among his officers is found extorting money from the roadside, searching people’s phones without search warrant, such should be charged as kidnappers and the law should take its course.
While commending the Delta police boss for picking calls when called and returning missed calls even at odd hours, he said Adeyinka needed to buckle up and make such pronouncements so as to make his men know that they are not bigger than the ordinary citizens on the street.