Following their dismissal for accepting a bribe from a Dutch woman riding a motorbike across Africa, two special constables from the Oyo State police command blamed their actions on the Nigerian government’s refusal to pay them salaries or other compensation.
The incident gained public attention after a viral video captured the constables demanding money from the tourist, resulting in their arrest and subsequent dismissal from the police force. The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State announced their dismissal, stating that it followed a recommendation from the orderly room investigation.
In a video response following their dismissal, the two former officers claimed that they served for over three years without receiving any salary or support from the government. They asserted that their financial struggles led them to beg for money from motorists and engage in bribery to support themselves and their families.
Expressing their grievances, one of the dismissed constables stated, “I served for three years and three months. They did not give us any salary. They never gave us anything. Even after the dismissal, we were not paid at all. It is when we go to the roadside that we get money from what people give us. This is what we share and use to feed ourselves, our children, and our wives.”
The former officers also expressed surprise at the severity of their punishment, emphasizing that they perceived the interaction with the Dutch woman as a light-hearted encounter. They claimed that they thought she was associated with Ibrahim Chatta, an actor known for bringing in foreigners.
One of the dismissed constables shared, “We cried because we were stripped naked before they collected our uniforms.”
This incident highlights broader issues within law enforcement, such as inadequate compensation for officers and potential gaps in training and oversight. The officers’ plea for financial support from the government sheds light on the challenges faced by law enforcement personnel, calling attention to the need for systemic improvements to ensure the well-being and integrity of those entrusted with public safety responsibilities.