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Should Govt Ban Police Check Points?

Menace of police checkpoints

By Editorial Board

Monday, 7 Jun 2010

The frequency of accidents at various police checkpoints in recent times, has made the need for the disbandment of these barricades more urgent. Recently, a trailer crushed 17 people to death at a checkpoint some 300 metres from the popular ‘Unizik’ Junction in Awka, the Anambra State capital. The trailer, according to reports, was coming from the Enugu end of Enugu-Onitsha expressway when the accident occurred.

The trailer, said to have developed a faulty brake, had lost control while the driver started blaring the horn relentlessly with the hazard light on to alert road users of the impending danger. The policemen, who had formed multiple barricades along the road, were so engrossed in their “operations” until the trailer reached the spot and rammed into some of the vehicles at the checkpoint, dragging them along. When the trailer eventually pulled up, many lives had been lost.

Among other victims, a Peugeot 504 saloon car had its three occupants killed, while an 18-seater bus, which witnesses said was heading for Onitsha, had eight of its occupants killed while one policeman was also said to have died.

It is curious that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, believes that these checkpoints are indispensable in spite of the glaring danger they constitute on the highways and contrary to the position of his predecessors on the matter. Despite Onovo’s arguments that they are needed for curtailing crimes, the ubiquitous checkpoints have done more damage than good. Even by African standards, the nation’s checkpoints have cast a slur on the nation’s image.

The ever present sight of gun-wielding policemen on the nation’s roads can easily scare away tourists and foreign businessmen. The IGP himself once lamented the outrageous number of checkpoints on Seme-Lagos road. As police are busy extorting money from motorists, criminals often have a free rein. Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, Mr. Waje Yayok, was kidnapped in Kaduna and found in Delta, about 800 kilometres away. At none of the checkpoints were the victim and his abductors stopped.

South-Eastern Nigeria remains a haven of criminals despite the prevalence of checkpoints in the area. In many highways, particularly in the East, checkpoints line the routes at few metres intervals, stalking hapless motorists. In 2008, a former IG, Mr. Mike Okiro, arrested seven policemen with bags of crumpled bank notes at a checkpoint on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Apart from becoming extortion centres, checkpoints have also become a source of worry in the Police’s deplorable record of extrajudicial killings.

Amnesty International, the London-based human rights watchdog, in its 2010 annual report, declared that the Nigeria Police continued to commit, with impunity, a wide range of human rights violations, including unlawful killings, adding that some persons were targeted for failing to pay bribes. Reports have indicated that police shot and killed more than 8,000 people between 2000 and 2007. The figures showed that 785 people were killed in a space of three months in 2007. According to AI, many unlawful killings happen during police operations while they also shoot and kill drivers who refuse to give them bribes at checkpoints.

A report by Delta State Committee for the Defence of Human Rights cited one Peter Omisiri who was reportedly beaten to death by policemen for refusing to give a N20 bribe. In 2008, Modebayo Awosika was killed at a police checkpoint in Lagos. In April 2009, a three-year-old girl, Kausarat Saliu, was shot in the head and killed by the police at a checkpoint in Ketu, Lagos.

In February this year, a Lagos High Court sentenced a Police Inspector, Muslim Folorunsho, to death for killing one Perry Samuel in Lagos. Checkpoints have clearly become counterproductive in fighting crimes. It is unnecessary except when security agencies are acting on a tip-off.

http://www.punchontheweb.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20100607034262

Is there any alternatives to check points. Please suggest

When calamities happen at check point, you see Policemen who are there running away. They do not wait again to take care of the calamities they caused

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38 answers

Infact if Govt can Ban the Police Check point it will be good, because i see no good in what they are doing there, they are there for the interest of their pocket not for we.

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dey really 2 b barn cos they re doin anytin other dan 2 collect money from every vehicle. sometimes i wonder if NIGERIA will ever change for good, the other day they arrested an innocent school guy in federal polytechnic nekede just because he was carrin laptop without any incriminatin, he was asked bring his receipt of which he did yet they took him to police station after a long beatin on d other who tries show that he knws his right as a citizen. nigeria police really need to re-oriented.

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I do agree that check points will scare many tourist away especially seeing AK-47 on the road.

i do agree with u my dear

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I think we have gotten to a point that police officers should be ashamed of themselves, within PH I saw policemen still harrasing taxi drivers for 20naira giving tally nums, a taxi movin from Rumuola to Mgboba a distance of about 25mins meets 3 different sets of policemen, all of them carrying guns asking for money like they saved same with these drivers, you could carry weapons and pass thru all the checkpoints without any of them detecting it.

The policemen are among the best paid people in the country right now they have no justification for the shameless behaviour they are displaying.

On the issue, wothout further ado checkpoints should be scrapped policemen should cover flash points undercover and do their work with more intelligence I think they need amnesty from nigerians and they should be rehabilitated in groups in camps with exmilitants and then they should be made to undergo training all over again to kearn about their roles and maybe they should administer an oath of non collection of any form of gratification while on duty.

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Yes ooooooo,  Nigeria Police man can kill someone because of Money,  Especially if that place is not an open place.

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You are more likely to be shot/killed by a nigerian police than by cultists or kidnappers!!

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@bluetooth

There was one between Ow PH road at Avu junction around 12noon just about 20meters from the check point, about 2 Saturdays ago, they all ran into the bush without challenging the armed robbers.

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Id rather give bribe to police than be kidnapped by cultist or robbed by thugs who the police wont pursue.

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Police themselves should be banned along with their check points.

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They should have banned them long before now. The Nigerian roads are better without them.

Anytime I see the sign "SLOW DOWN, DANGER AHEAD" along the road,I know I am approaching a thieving police check point.

Their world collapsed the day they changed their uniform color to black. It was as if the color of their hearts was also changed.

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All police checkpoints should be dismantled without pity!!!

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I've never seen checkpoints in any other country. What peculiar crime problems do we have in Nigeria. Best thing is to not have them at all. That way, if you're driving and you see a checkpoint far off, you can already tell that it can only be armed robbers, not like now that a checkpoint could be: 1) Police collecting bribes 2) Armed robbers robbing 3) Ritualists searching 4) A police checkpoint about to be run over by a trailer.

When there's a specific and credible intelligence, a checkpoint could then be mounted temporarily. I dont have the stats, but I'm sure these police checkpoints do far more harm than good.

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That's one other big reason why the permanent and stationary road blocks are counter productive.

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Nigeria has a peculiar crime problem, hence the use of road blocks.

However, incorporating Police patrols in different neighbourhoods may help rather than being at the Police stations or checkpoints every time since most of the times,criminals already know where road blocks are located. . .

There should be a consensus on how best to tackle the problem of crime in the country.

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The best point so far.

The police, banks, army, politicians, etc are all part of a huge, stinking and corrupt place called Nigeria. Solution should be from the top, ie from Jonathan.

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d car dat was crushed has a family of 5 including the father mother sisters and brothers.

a whole family, futures and generation was consumed by dis trailer accident.

d check oint shuld be removed cos if it was my family dat dis hapened to i wil b keeling police people and any 1 in force till am killed.

dis is anoying whiping away a whole family from mother earth. gooooshhh its painful

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The problem is not the check-point.

The problem is Nigeria is a failed state.

Fix that, and you will fix everything else.

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police check point? :-x :-x :-x :-x

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Dont get me wrong, I agreed already that the check points are public nuisance and some of the police are criminals too.

I think the solution is not just removing the check points but having a total reformed police force.

Check point or not, the criminal elements among the police force still find a way to commit their atrocities, even during patrol

Also policing style defers from one country to another

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Oh no, not you too!

Tell me anywhere esle in the World you have permanent, and persistent road blocks where policemen run for dear life at the news of impending attack by criminals? Even criminals who know and can predict the location of policemen on the highways simply take alternate routes to their destination. In the US, there maybe roving and patrolling police check points, especially when a crime is suspected, or they're on tip off. The only person who gains from the type of check-points we have in Nigeria is the corrupt policeman.

My brother, as we all know police work is synonymous with corruption, but it shouldn't be.

Onovo has disappointed many people like me who thought he would make a difference. He's too much into being politically correct that basic policing seems to be out of the window. Or, maybe, it's because the whole government is corrupt, starting from Jonathan.

Why can't he order the immediate removal of these check points like OBJ did, and task Onovo to make sure the order is carried out. Remember, the checkpoints are southern affair. The northern part of Nigeria is not menaced by these brigand of salaried rogues in ploice uniforms and their collection points checkpoints

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^^There was a time a murderer was caught because they found a dead body in his car trunk

And many times they found guns and other incriminating things on criminals during these 'stop and search' operations

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I know, most of these check points have become societal nuisance.

But let's not throw away the baby with the bathed water.

Some of those check points operations have made tremendous success curbing crimes, catching and arresting criminals.

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Please whoever has the "POWER" to get rid of police check points, should do so ASAP. They are nothing buy a great nuisance to our highways. Get rid of them very fast. PLEASSSSEEEE!!!!!!

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I consider Onovo as corrupt as the ordinary roadside checkpoint policeman, for the simple reason that the Nigeria Police, under his leadership has refused to be transparent. For example, in the past, the police website used to specify documents that you need to present to policement on checkpoints. This info used to be on http://www.nigeriapolice.org/ . This information is no longer there; am sure they realize it was a mistake for them to have it there in the first place. The NPF have always been corrupt, they are corrupt and they will continue to be corrupt. may God have mercy on them

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If police check-points are such effective means of crime prevention, why do we have them mostly in the south? I travelled from Abuja to Enugu last December, and the way to learn that you're now in the south was the presence of multiple police check-points. Can anybody please explain why there is effective policing in the north, without the notoriuos, corrupt, and ineffective check-points; but in the south, especially Igboland, we have multiple check-points on very "lucrative" roads?

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If dem no ban'am, police go use that place as their tax office for commercial busses.

if them ban'am, police go increase the price of tax wey dem dey collect from commercial busses. . .Daz naija police 4 u!

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I quit agree with mortiple. The check points though they have their shortcomings, shouldnt be outrightly banned. Infact, they are a blessing on some roads like the Badagry exp. way Volks area and Lasu- Isheri exp. way. These dreaded points are famous for armed robbery activities, but since security operatives were dispatched there, it has been peace for the road users. The commuters do not even mind the N50/N100 levy(abi wetin i go call am) collected on these roads. Afterall, isn`t life worth much more?

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I'm a witness to such incidence

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I do not support outright ban of police check points. Despite its shortfalls, it is still useful and needful in a country like ours where crime rate is not only high but on the increase. The concept is not bad but how it is carried out. Our Police Force is in a sorry state (that we all know) and the only thing a responsible government should do is to declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY to remedy the situation. Obviously, the masses have lost confidence in these WORKERS OF INIQUITY. The situation in Lagos seems to be out of control presently, as there are virtually police check points at every 1-kilometer at night, whose occupations are to extort money from commercial vehicle operators  ONLY. They do not care about private vehicles.  When they do, it ends up in molestation of the occupants.  On occasions I  had cause to move at night, I have never been checked/searched by these EVIL MEN ON BLACK.  All that residents of Lagos State need is the immediate intervention of the governor, BRF. Needless to add that they are responsible for majority of vehicular traffic at night too.

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yes, they are not doing crap on the road, but extorting money anyway. I do agree that check points will scare many tourist away especially seeing AK-47 on the road. Nigeria would be fine without police check points.

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I agree with you jare, i don't see what those policemen are doing at check points, they probably collect money from motorists,cause hold-up,run away whenever their is an armed robbery attack, those guys are totally uselesss

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Yes.they should concentrate on mobile patrol instead of turning every checkpoints to toll-gates

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Senate committee summons Onovo on Deji, roadblocks

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, may be at the Senate this week to brief the Senate Committee on Police Affairs on the public brawl between the Deji of Akure, Oba Oluwadare Adeshina, and his estranged wife, Bolanle.

A source close to the committee told our correspondent that Onovo would also be defending the activities of his men, who are still mounting roadblocks on the nation’s highways.

He said the committee was reacting to several complaints arising from the problems created by roadblocks mounted by policemen.

A recent incident was a road carnage at Obosi, in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, which resulted in the death of 20 persons as a result of a police roadblock.

The source said, “The IG is expected to principally explain to the committee why the rank-and-file disregard orders and still mount roadblocks across the country. One of such checkpoints claimed several lives last weekend.

“He is also expected to tell the committee how far the police have gone in their investigations on the Deji on two factors: One, Onovo is expected to brief us on the level of investigations on the public brawl between the King and his wife and, two, the stuff which was poured on his wife.”

http://www.punchontheweb.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201006071445042

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Erm Last year IGP Okiro said the same thing http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-187645.0.html

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never u trust any law enforcement on black in Nigeria

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let the put some considerate measures to checkmate all the abnormalities in the system

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do not know what to say,but every thing has adv/dis adv,I leave that to the expert.

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