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  • Updated: Oct 17, 2020

Problem Is Not SARS, Problem Is Leadership - Former Police Sergeant

Problem Is Not SARS, Problem Is Leadership - Former Police S

A former police sergeant, Fideliis Ogili, says that the problem was not the SARS unit but with the brand of leadership.

Ogili stated this in an interview with The PUNCH, stating that he left the Police Force because of "systemic corruption".

Poor Welfare

Speaking on one of the forms corruption has taken within the force, Ogili said that police stations that are meant to be equipped with items like "pen, uniforms, and vehicles that have fuel" do not have them because there are no provisions for them.

He stated that these items are provided by policemen, adding that "This is where I fault the system and the police authorities for not doing well."

Empowered By Law

Ogili said that police officers act with impunity because they know that they can do anything and get away with it, as the law backs thei actions.

He said, "Policemen in Nigeria are the most powerful set of people because our laws allow them to get away with it. 

"That is why most policemen do all manner of things such as committing murder and getting away with anything. 

READ MORE: #EndSARS: There's No Unit Created To Replace SARS Yet - Police Consultant

"The law says they can arrest and detain one if they suspect one. 

"They can arrest and detain people and nobody will ask them questions, except when their actions affect the rich, wealthy or political bigwigs. Or if the media get hold of the story and demand accountability. Otherwise, an average Nigerian is at the mercy of a wrong policeman.

When asked if he took any stand, Ogili said that he did, but he was "lucky not to be dealt with". 

He explained that he almost got into trouble by posting him to "wrong places because I  was speaking against some of the things going on."

Police Ammunition

Ogili claims that the dysfunction in the system has eaten very deep that policemen are not accountable for the number of ammunition that they take on duty.

He said that each police officer should know the number of ammunition carried out, adding that "I can tell you that if the Inspector-General of Police stops a team of policemen now and demands to know the number of ammunition they have, they will have almost three or four times the number of ammunition they were given at the station."

Questioning the source of the ammunition, he said, "ammunition is on sale".

Posting to SARS Unit

For a policeman to be posted to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit, "one would have to pay a lot of money" Ogili stated.

He added, "Being intelligent was not what one needed to get there; they posted the people they wanted there. So, SARS was not the problem, the problem is the system and the leadership of the police."

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