Less than two months from now, it would be exactly one year, precisely in October 2020, the Nigerian youths came out in their numbers, virtually from every state of the federation and chanted, ‘’END SARS”. The message was so loud, such that, the government was utterly confused, and completely taken by surprise by the youths of the country, who unfortunately are the victims of police brutality, even up till this very moment. Since that time, the Nigerian police somehow appear to be civil and calmer in most of its activities maybe, because, the panel of inquiry, investigating the Lekki debacle is still looking into the cases, and the petitions of police brutality submitted before it, by the Nigerian people. However, government on its part, even though the president, Muhammadu Buhari in one of the interviews, granted to Arise TV, declared that, the #ENDSARS protest was designed to oust him from office however, promised that, no stone would be left unturned to checkmate the excesses of police force personnel, going forward, while also he acknowledged the fact that, Nigeria is still a democratic country.
The recent arrest warrant issued against one of the Super Corps of the force, Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of police (DCP), by American government over an alleged connivance and complicity with Abbas Ramon, aka Hushpuppi, a Nigerian too, but an international fraudster, who allegedly defrauded a foreign national of a whopping $1.1m, having pleaded guilty in one of the American Courts, to say the least, is one blow too many, on the image of the Nigerian police. More than anything else, the Nigeria Police Force in recent times has become one institution everyone dreads because, justice and fairness is bought by the highest bidder, making the institution an object of caricature in the eyes of the public owing to high handedness also of some of its officers that use their official positions to intimidate, harass and extort fellow compatriots, especially the poor in our midst who do not have anybody to fight for them.
The latest development in the rank and file of this important institution surely is not what the country expects this time, given the myriads of problems, especially insecurity that has remained an albatross in the life of this government. Mindful that the accused is deemed innocent until proven otherwise, the immediate suspension of DCP, Abba Kyari was the right thing in the present circumstance, at least to allow unhindered and any kind of undue interference since the Police Service Commission (PSC), has waded into the matter already, that has global outlook, especially a regime that claims zero tolerance to corruption and other sundry vices that seek to put the country in bad light. Those who commented at the wake of this development, indeed reminded the PSC, and those who maybe ascertaining the culpability or otherwise of the officer involved to do a thorough job and not allow it to become a repeat of Wadume, the kidnapper who in the cause of his arrest led to the deaths of some police officers, as much is not heard about the case till today. Although opinion poll argued that since the Abba Kyari debacle involved a country like America, that the political class and those investigating the matter, would not toy with the relationship between Nigeria and America as the former has a lot to benefit from the US and again, that the much touted war against corruption in the country, with this case would prove to the world, America in particular, the seriousness of the Muhammadu Buhari government on corruption.
While we acknowledge the fact that, the mentioning of our Super Cop name, whom the country had spent so much to train in a fraud related case, appear very embarrassing, we also want to state the fact that Nigeria is a sovereign country that has her own laws, and therefore, the issue of extradition should not be the first option but rather the panel investigating the matter should do a thorough job as the first option and timely too, because of the interest of other parties involved, particularly for the image of the Nigeria police force, that is on the steady decline in the recent times owing to human rights abuse and inability to obey court orders, and other sundry vices inimical to the practice of democratic tenets in the country.