‘If you disturb them, they will abandon the station’, says DPO on corrupt policemen

Adolf Ogwu, the divisional police officer for Bariga Police division, has expressed his helplessness in reining in unruly officers under his command.

Ogwu was responding to an enquiry from the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, which reported the activities of policemen soliciting bribes forcefully from commercial motorcyclists in the Bariga area of Lagos State.

A bribe-taking policeman caught in the act. Photo credit: FIJ

Expressing shock, Ogwu told FIJ he was new at the division while distancing himself from the activities of his officers.

“At my own level, such information is useful in the sense that we have procedures and if the evidence proves that, I will take it up and default whoever is involved and inform the headquarters.

“Ever since I came to the Bariga Division Headquarters, Somolu Police Station, I have not demanded anything from them.

“I am not expecting anything from them. Whatever they do is at their own risk; it’s their personal doing, and as such, they must face the full wrath of the law.”

Ogwu said he was wary of the officers leaving the force if he began to act excessively strict to them.

“Most of these people are adults. They are old people. You cannot be with them all the time, and there is a way you burden them. There is a way you disturb them and they will run and leave the station for you alone to work, so it’s a stick and carrot thing,” he said.

The investigative newspaper said it also contacted Adekunle Ajisebutu, the Lagos police spokesperson, for his comment, but instead he referred them to the same Ogwu.

The report detailed how police officers demanded bribes from the motorcyclists and captured one of them in the act.

One of the affected motorcyclists, whose name was not published, said, “They collect N200 naira per day. My association does not know what is going on. It is an illegal operation that they are carrying out here.”

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