AN OPEN LETTER AND MY HUMBLE PETITION:
AGAINST THE ACTIVITIES OF GROSSLY INEPTITUDE AND HIGHLY UNPROFESSIONAL OFFICERS ON NIGHT DUTY ON THE 15TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2021 AT DUGBE DIVISIONAL HEADQUARTERS, OLD GARAGE AREA, OSOGBO, OSUN STATE.

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Sir, my name is Samson Tola of the aforementioned address. I am a Nigerian Citizen whose rights are enshrined, protected and guaranteed by the Provisions of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as Amended.
I am a Nigerian who acts and believe in equity, fairness and humanity, I am a person of means and substance with a job fit enough to feed myself and family of 5 children. That I am not just a painter by profession, I am an entrepreneur who produces paints and invents colours.


I write this open letter and my Humble Petition to your good offices as follows:


That on the 15th day of November, 2021, at about the 7:32pm while returning from a business trip at Iwoye, Egbedore Local Government, Osun State that took me away from my family for about 4 days (I had to come to Osogbo due to the persistent calls by my 4 year old daughter to come back home as she is missing me) at Olaiya Area, Osogbo, Osun State, where I was to help my wife with groceries at Alekunwodo Market. I had to pass by the rail close to the new ‘under-construction’ overhead bridge.

I heard sporadic gunshots which caused serious uproar and hullabaloo in the Osogbo metropolis. At first, at the hearing of the serial-gunshots, I thought it was an Armed Robbery incident, not until I saw a member of vigilante group holding a fleeing man by his belt, slapping and pushing him without caution. I then saw a group of persons majorly not in Police uniform, coming down from a mini-bus (Korope) and asking people “why are running”?
That it was this moment I knew it was the Police’s action, nonetheless, I was heading to my house since have no skeleton in my cupboard and I have never had anything with the Police before, I was totally shocked when a person whom I recognized to be a member of the Vigilante group by his uniform in the company of those I later knew to be officers attached to Dugbe Divisional Headquarters came from the rear to hit me with an axe on my right elbow (the elbow is still swollen as at the time of writing this petition), held my trouser and gave me hot slaps. I pleaded with him not to rough-handle or assault me, that if he is arresting me, I would follow.

Rather than listening, the Vigilante gave me another humiliating slap while the supervising police officers continued looking.
That while in pain of the heavy slaps, some policemen called me derogatory, shameful and unprintable names like, thug, rogue and criminal. Sir, I was bungled, shuffled and stacked with about 12 persons into a mini-bus meant for only 7 passengers.
That we were taken to Dugbe Divisional Headquarters of Nigeria Police, Old Garage Area, Osogbo, Osun State, where we all asked to sit on the bare floor, while on the floor, we were stripped of all our belongings.


That while at the counter, I was searched by a Female Police Officer who told me to loosen my trouser, while loosening it, the Female Police Officer, put her hand inside my trouser pocket which was fallen off already, while I was trying to safeguard my beltless trousers from falling off, the lady officer in the presence of everyone, said that “what do I have under that she has not seeing before”. She then told me to remove my boxers, while removing my boxers, all of a sudden; the Female Police Officer started raining all manners of abuses on me that I am trying to dust my boxers on her.


That we were all taken to the cell without knowing or being informed of our offences, neither were we allowed to volunteer our statements. When I asked to see my Lawyer, so that my statements will be taken and recorded in his presence, the Officers on duty shouted me down and asked if I was the only one arrested.
That while in the Police cell at Dugbe Divisional Headquarters, I was very thirsty, at about 10pm I demanded for water but none of the Police Officers on duty attended to me. The following morning, our families members came to secure our bail, the Police Officers at Dugbe demanded the sum of N50, 000 for each of the 16 persons arrested before our bail can be granted. This made everyone of us to shout in anguish. I believe in ethos and discipline in the Nigeria Police Force which is an advocate of “Bail is Free”. But the actions of the officers at Dugbe are not an affront to the discipline and respect in Police Force, but an example of the Police Criminality the whole world is condemning.


That all the 16 of us that were arrested on the 15th day of November, 2021, were all searched and nothing incriminating, illegal substances, weapons or anything anti-social was found on me or any of us.
That 4 of the 16 people arrested on the 15th were from Sabo Area, as against the Police Officers’ claim that we were all arrested at Olaiya Area in Osogbo.
That when I was called upon to write my statement (Though I am not an Officer but I know, if we are in a sane society, no suspect will be admitted into the cell without first listening to his story through cautionary statement), I again demanded to see my Lawyer, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Station who of course appeared to be under the influence of alcohol (as he oozing and speaking incoherently) started raining all manner of curses on me, he ordered that I should be taken back to the cell.


That most of the officers on night duty on that day, were in mufti and without5 ID Card. We were denied access to our money and we were starved both of food, water and our rights.
That I am the Coordinator of Take It Back (TIB) Movement in Osun State, when my Comrades came to give me food and water, the Officers at Dugbe demanded the sum of N500 before they could allow them give me food. This was how the Police Officers at Dugbe Divisional Headquarters demanded N500 each from all the family members of every one of us arrested on the 15th November. That my comrades could not stand this high level of corrupt practice, hence, they had to take the food back because they too understand the fact that if the food had been given to me after bribing the officers, I would not only reject it but scold them for putting more blocks on the corrupt foundation by government and security agencies.


That the reason the Police charged us to court was because we refused to pay them the N50, 000 each from all of us which they demanded tha we pay before we will be allowed to leave the station.
That we spent the entire night at the station without water, food or proper attention. And one of the reasons we were charged to court was because some of us refused to volunteer our statements until we see our Lawyers and/or family members which infuriated one of the Male Inspector on night duty who will later turn out to be the Prosecutor of this case in court. The Inspector threatened to deal with me and promised me that he will not rest until I find myself in Ilesa Correctional Centre, a promise he kept to the letter.


That to intentionally punish us and deny us of constitutionally guaranteed rights, we were called out of the cell around 2:45pm and led into two mini-buses and taken to the Chief Magistrates’ Court at Oke Fia, Osogbo before His Worship A. O. Ajanaku of Magistrate’s Court 7 who granted the 16 of us Bail in charge No. MOS/512C/2021 – COMMISSIONER OF POLICE vs. SAMSON TOLA & 15. That the time frame between our ‘malicious, callous and unjustifiable arraignment and the admittance of all the 16 of us to Bail at around 3:30pm after our individual plea of Not Guilty in the sum of N100, 000, one surety in the like sum, surety must be a blood relative and must have evidence of income tax payment to the Osun State Government, was too short to perfect, hence, we were all first taken to the Dugbe Police Station before our onward transmission to Ilesa Correctional Centre as Prison Inmates.


That I spent 4 agonizing and excruciatingly painful days at the remand section of Prison politically called “correctional centre’. Throughout these period, I could not eat, I could not drink, I was not feeling myself and I could not believe the fact that I am kept away from my family for days, the same police force which ought to be Nigerian oriented has turned itself to instrument of malicious prosecution due to our failure to meet up with their Bail demand. I could not also believe why we will be admitted to bail in the sum of N100, 000 when I did not steal, I did not have anything incriminating or unlawful on me and I did not pass my boundary.


That my bail was finally perfected after spending four days and I was allowed to leave the Correctional Centre around 6pm.
That even though I am now enjoying the temporary freedom of a Defendant, I still cannot come to terms with the operating system of the Nigeria Police Force. I can only imagine how many citizens are raped, stripped and robbed of their Constitutionally guaranteed rights by incessant harassment, arrest and intimidation at the hands of bad eggs in the Nigeria Police Force such as we have in the Officers at Dugbe Police Station on night duty led by DPO who has turned the Police Station into a business and money-generating venture through the demand of exorbitant and illegal sum for Bail.


That worthy of note on the unprofessional activities and decay in public service delivery is the fact that even while we were kept at the counter, one of the ‘drunk’ officers on night duty at Dugbe, was touching the breast of a female officer indecently, indiscriminately and without recourse and respect to the fact that it was an open place and that we were all looking!


MY PETITION:
I urge your good offices to invoke the Provision of Section 4 of the Police Act 2020 which gives you the power and authority to wade into these matter and restore the damaging reputation of the Nigeria Police Force by making examples out of the professionally misfits, crude and highly toxic Police Officers such as the Officers on Night duty at Dugbe on the 15th day of November, 2021 led by their DPO who have replaced the duties of protection of lives and properties, prevention of crimes and restoration of orders with Bribery, Unlawful Detention and Malicious Prosecution of the people it was established to protect.


I also urge your good offices to investigate and probe the activities of the Officers who were on night duty on the 15th day of November at Dugbe Divisional Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, Old Garage Area, Osogbo, Osun State including the Divisional Police Officer who kept cursing and using all manners of unprintable adjective on me for simply “Electing to give me statement in the presence of my Lawyer”.
Be assured of my regards and availability at any time my attention is needed regarding this petition and open letter as I am not in a hurry to back down and watch my rights taken away without a lawful, legal and societally acceptable fights.


While I still believe in the powers of the Nigeria Police Force to do the right thing through your good offices, I wish and truly hope that this petition will be looked into timeously, promptly and punctually. I also advise that it should be looked into and treated urgently without it being swept under carpet.
Thanks and regards as I await a prompt and favourable answers for “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
I am yours faithfully,

MR. SAMSON TOLA.
The unfairly treated citizen of
Federal Republic of Nigeria.




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