BBN Special

Investigative Journalist:Fisayo Soyombo shares his ugly encounter with the Nigerian Police

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Edwin Eriye

Investigative Journalist: FISAYO SOYOMBO spent two weeks in detention, five days in a police cell and eight days as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison for allegedly avoiding man he owes N2, 770, 000.

Fisayo had purchased a car worth N2.8m in November, 2018; he only paid N300, 000 after which he began avoiding the car owner.

He was then arrested and whisked into an innocuously passing danfo on Monday, July 8.

The investigative journalist who had a raw encounter with the Nigerian police during his time of arrest said the police perverted the course of his justice in quest for ill-gotten money.

“When I was whisked into the danfo, I imagined I would be immediately taken to the cell of Pedro Police Station, Shomolu, and Lagos. But it wasn’t that straightforward. I was first shoved behind the counter; and after half-an-hour, the Crime Officer (co), Inspector Badmus, fetched me into a back office where I was grilled for close to two hours, culminating in a written statement from me that represented his thoughts.

“He asked me questions but only allowed me to write the answers that suited him; if the answers didn’t, he cut me short halfway. Afterwards, I was led to the expansive office of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), who pronounced me guilty in a matter of minutes. “This is one of the many criminals destroying this city”, he yelled after a long menacing glance all over me.

“The complaint was already registering the case with a policewoman by the time we returned, and soon after they were haggling over the fees, Chigozi Odo, the policewoman, had rejected his offer of N500. After some five minutes of talking, he handed her a N1000 note.

“When I got into the cell, I met a fellow cell mate, Maxwell, a gate keeper at a small company in Lagos, who was accused of illegal gun possession by his boss after an unlicensed pistol, was reportedly found inside the gate house. He vehemently denied knowledge of the act, but his innocence had been ruined by his previous backdoor sale for N, 8000. Determined to let him rot in the police cell, the accuser left with Maxwell’s phone, obliterating any chance of phoning a friend or family to process his bail.

“Also in the cell is another young man who was accused of stealing a phone worth N17, 000, the police however set his bail at N50, 000, yet, they always insisted bail is free.

““Bail is free” is the most barefaced lie of the century, the police embarked on a nationwide bail-is-fee campaign; apparently it has been a futile experiment.

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