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Please Stop Giving Bribes To Police; Fight For Your Rights- CP Alabi

By Adedayo Said

The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Abiodun Alabi, says acts of extortion by police operatives are encouraged by acquiescent citizens. He asked citizens to “please stop giving bribes to the police.”

Mr Alabi stated this during the Lagos State Stakeholders’ Forum on Police Accountability (SFPA), organised by the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre in partnership with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), held on Wednesday in Ikeja, Lagos.

He asserted that “There are so many Lagosians who are willing to encourage extortion,” positing that both the bribe giver and taker are guilty of the same offence. 

The police chief insisted that bail charges are free and urged citizens to painstakingly resist attempts to extort them under any guise.

“Nobody can force you to part with your money, if you do not want to part with it, bail is free. It is because you don’t take the time to fight for your rights,” Mr Alabi reiterated. “You are always willing because you believe that if I don’t pay, I will not be released. It is a lie!”

The police commissioner said police are responsible for the protection of lives and properties of citizens, adding that communities should constantly engage, consult and work with the police in order to bridge the gap and trust issues between police and the community.

He advised citizens to get the contacts of divisional police officers and reach out to them on issues affecting their communities, adding that citizens should give out information unanimously to the police without any fear of intimidation.

Mr Alabi said people must perceive police officers as members of their family and not just friends so they can change the societal narrative about police integrity.  

“I want to implore people to change their narrative by saying the police are your friend, police should not be your friend alone, police should be your family,” he said. 

He stressed: “I want us to see the police as our families. Until we change the narrative and see police with integrity perception, we will not move forward. If there is anything police are doing that is wrong, bring it out. It will be addressed.”

Earlier, the coordinator of SFPA Okechukwu Nwanguma, mentioned that the forum was established in 2018 to encourage constant interaction and engagement with the state police on issues of police accountability.

Mr Nwanguma recognised and applauded the efforts of four police officers, who were honoured with awards by the organisers of the event for their tremendous efforts and outstanding performance in the course of their job. They include; Taiwo Kasumu, Patricia Amadin, Adeyemo Ogunyemi and Abubakar Aliyu.

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