Time to share my hilarious “arrest” by the Nigerian Police with our amiable readers. I went to run an errand during my hour-long lunch break and on my way back to the office, a policeman wielding a long rifle and signaled to me to pull over. After I pulled over, he signaled to me to wind down the window. Again, I did as instructed. Then he requested the permit for my tinted-windows because my windows are all tinted and a permit is required for tinting car windows. Simultaneously, he asked that I open the passenger side door and allow two police women, in plain clothes, into the car. I didn’t know where they wiggled out from but I looked up and saw about four of them huddled beside a van. I let them into the car as instructed. Then, I handed the permit to the officer.
While he was perusing over it, I asked the women what my offence was. The one beside me said I was on the phone while driving (she didn’t even know why I was pulled over, smh). I was taken aback and I immediately responded, “what! with which phone,” and explained that I wasn’t on a call. She became flustered and said, “ehhn emm, when you get to the station, you will know your crime.” I indicated that the law is not stipulated as such. I added that I’m supposed to be told of my crime prior to an arrest. The other policewoman in the back seat then indicated, “you are arguing, abi?”
Meanwhile, the policeman went to show another officer the permit. But he returned to tell me the permit was fake and that the tinted windows were not factory-fitted. He said only the back seat windows were factory-fitted.
At this point, I tried calling up my lawyer friends but the network connection was ish that day and neither calls nor texts were going through.
After telling me my “offense,” I was told to drive to the police headquarters but I refused and asked them what they want me to do. The policewomen said that because I’m female, they would help me. They asked that I give them some money. I asked how much and was told 5,000 Naira. I told them I didn’t have that much money on me.
I was angry with myself because I wasn’t guilty. I have all my car documents in place and none of them are fake! But because I didn’t want to be delayed any further, as an hour had already passed, and I needed to return to the office, I negotiated and haggled my way out. I knew they were just extortionists and they can waste people’s productive time. At the end of the brouhaha, I parted with the 3,000 Naira. I was also given a warning to go remove the tinted side that wasn’t factory-fitted or risk being re-arrested.
Need I mention that they had the effrontery to laugh and said they were helping me? It wasn’t funny, even though I had to laugh at myself for being stupid. When I related my experience to my friends at the office, they empathized with and laughed at me. Then they said, “Welcome to the club of Nigerian Police harassing innocent road users.” That was my first personal experience. I can only hope it will be the last with our Naija Police ohh, especially as a car owner….lolz.
OH MY SISI!
Story Story, Story! Once upon a time, time time! LOL . . . Abi, that was some tale ooo. I always hear these stories of cops unabashedly asking civilians for money and I could never picture these things happening. Of course, I’ve witnessed a few incidents as a child. But your vivid story really drills it home. Yes, you do have to laugh at the situation . . . to keep from crying of course!
I have been stopped a few times myself my cops. But I must confess it has been for actual offenses such as speeding or speeding. LOL. I tend to drive too fast at times. And all of my speeding offenses have been in the State of Virginia. Anyone will tell you to drive at the exact designated speed limit if you ever find yourself in the State of Virginia. They are such sticklers! Meanwhile, my Jersey ways tend to forget to slow down every now and again as I drove through Virginia and I must say, I paid highly for every offense!
Sisi, I can only hope this is not a regular occurrence for you. But at least if it happens again, you are now experienced. Perhaps, the next time, you can haggle your way out of paying nothing. I suggest looking up laws that deters cops from taking bribes. Maybe quoting such words would scare them into letting you go on about your way.
As always, it was a pleasure hearing your tales. I look forward to more. Love you!