My 3-months Old Baby’s Ordeal In The Hands Of A Drunk FRSC Officer, A Plea To Nigerian Authorities By Adedeji Oyinloye
By Adedeji Oyinloye
The officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) were trainedkun to preserve life not to expose citizen to danger. They were trained first and foremost to restore sanity to our roads and ensure that life of motorists are secured. FRSC is not a revenue generation agency. According to FRSC Act 2007, the organization was founded to save life and not to generate fund for the federal government.
However, the recent ordeal of myself and my wife alongside our three months old baby in the hands of unprofessional FRSC officers has proven that the corruption and unprofessionalism assumed to be rooted in the Nigerian Police Force have found their way into the FRSC.
On Saturday 20th January, i left Ibadan with my family to attend the ordination of Segun, my brother inlaw in Epe, Lagos. We passed through Ijebu enroute Epe, this journey was the first in its kind on Ijebuode-Epe route. Whilst on the transit, I asked security operatives I met on the road to guide me. But while approaching the venue of the event, some FRSC officers rushed violently on the road to stop my car, I obeyed them. I told them that I am new on the road, in fact, don’t even know how to locate the venue of the event I was going to attend.
After this, an officer, Ajakaiye requested that I give him document of the car, I told him that the car belong to my father, and that part of the document of the car was pasted on the wind screen of the car, he said that was not enough, I quickly searched the car but could only lay my hand on one old paper from insurance company..he asked about my driving license which I gave him he expired copy on me.
I made it clear to Mr Ajakaiye that I couldn’t renew my drivers license because I was new in the country, I had my Bachelor of Science degree in India, served my fatherland in 2011/2012 where I was given a state award by His Excellency Senator Ibikunle Amosun. After this award, I applied for jobs for years and nothing came up, I decided to relocate to Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana for my Master degree in Information Technology. Upon return to Nigeria, I applied for lecturing job in Nigeria private universities but I was told I need PhD before i can be given a lecturing position.
While looking out for job, I decided to get married because age was not longer on my side. I explained all my predicaments to the officers but the leader of the FRSC, Mr. Ajakaiye was not interested in my story, he turned deaf hear to my presentations, all he said was that I should move the car to direction on the road which I obeyed him.
To my surprise, I moved us to a police station near to the place and impounded my car. On arriving at the police station, Mr. Ajakaiye shouted on my wife who was holding our three months old baby to leave the car quickly. He ordered that we pack all our belongings or he will deflate the tyres.
I took my Bible, Hymn book, diary and the baby’s pampers and packed all inside a nylon. He thereafter demanded for the car key and I replied him that, this is police station, not FRSC office, I am oblige to give key to authority where the car is parked. While standing, he brought out his phone to show me that I have committed another offense, he brought out his phone and shown me that I was driving and calling.
Meanwhile, he lied, the calls were made at the point where I parked by the road and while driving. He stylishly cooked up an offense to rope me. Nigeria road safety need to be educated on how to deal with Nigeria citizen. While waiting and standing at same spot, he stood there with the car, at some time went out, later came back into police station demanding for bribe but I refused, telling him to lawfully fine me because bribe is an offense.
I didn’t bother to offer him any bribe but kept pleading while my wife with 3months old baby were also pleading, at some point,none of the police officers told him that even if he want to punish us but he should look at 3months old baby with us. He turned his eyes off the direction while the smell of alcohol gushes out from his mouth as he talks.
All he wanted from me was bribe. He wasn’t ready to fine me. Since I didn’t dance to his tune, he stayed where the car was parked hoping I will offer him a bribe. I told my wife that am not ready to give out any bribe
In fact I and less than five hundred naira cash on me at that point. I graduated for years, I didn’t get a place to work, married and still live with my parent..to crown it all, the said car that was impounded belong to my father…What kind of pitiless officer do we have in FRSC? i made all moves to plead to him to talk to officer in charge that is assisting with my new driver license but turned a deaf ear. My three months old baby was wallowing inside scorching sun for hours. All he wanted was a bribe.
After many twists and turns, his boss came..a person of Mr Abdullahi O. Sulaimon who asked me questions relating to my names, address, etc…before I knew it, he had issue a fine of #10,000 for driving without license including phoning while driving. When I checked on FRSC website, what I saw was that N4,000 is the fine for phoning while driving. Thus, I queried on why he added #3,000 to the fine of phoning while driving. In all, I was fined N17,000. I accepted to pay fine for driving without license but I told him to I won’t pay for phoning while driving because it was when I parked that I made a phone call.
In the picture he showed me, his own photo appeared …then how could he be in my car while I was calling? He should have taken the picture while he was outside the car and not when he was in the car. I was in the scourging sun for hours before we could locate the venue of the event while we have to beg all and sundry to help us with transport fare to Ibadan.
We were given 2,000 by a woman while another man gave us 1,000 making 3,000. We had to travelled all through the night until we get to our house very late in the evening.This is a bad omen for a country that clamored for change. We only changed government, the people have not not changed. The country Nigeria cannot change if all our security formations are not overhauled. I was fined N17, 000 instead of N7,000 just because I refused to bribe an agent of destruction masquerading as a law enforcement officer.
I have seen how Indian police treats their citizens, I have seen how Ghanaian police treat theirs. Why do FRSC have to impound a car before fine is paid, In this technological drive world, I think Nigeria should have gone beyond this level of stone age process and move to level where offenders could pay electronically on spot. Things should be done without infringing on human rights.
As at the time of writing this epistle, my car is still in custody of Police. FRSC has refused to let me car be given to them. They felt that I challenged their authority. I have paid them but yet to get my car.
Consequently, I call on the Federal House of Representatives and the Nigerian Senate and other authorities to look into this unprofessional idiosyncrasy of the FRSC and ensure that my three months old baby does not suffer in vain. I want to be delivered from powerful people. Why must we be treated like slaves in our motherland?
Oyinloye writes from Ibadan, Oyo State.
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