We bring you the top 5 reasons for their notoriety.
Lagos police officers hate disobedience and don’t take the offence lightly. If a policeman asks you to wait and you take a step, you’re likely to see the combat part of him. Regardless of what your reasons are or if you’re right, or not, you need to first obey the ‘command’. It’s safer to provide explanation after you have obeyed. If you don’t want to land in a police station defending charges of offences you did not commit, then “obey before complain”.
- Resisting Arrest
Lagos Police are known for their brutality.
Lagos policemen are very likely to employ force and physically attack you if you are trying to resist arrest. They consider it an insult on their personality and profession. If a policeman feels your offence will be better treated at the station, it’s reasonable to follow or better still, make your plea immediately. Physically standing your ground is likely to be a challenge of strength between you and the armed policeman which is a dangerous signal. Policemen immediately become aggressive as soon a person gives the indication that he is physically stronger.
It is no secret that bribery is an aspect of the police force that is yet to be contained. Lagos policemen are not saints when it comes to this practice and can become very aggressive when a person refuses to give bribe. Bribery is seen as a right and policemen demand it at will. Whether a person commits an obvious crime or not is not even an issue. The refusal to give what the police consider their dues can result in an aggressive action.
- Invoke Superior Forces
Nothing annoys Lagos police officers more than a person suddenly reaching out to higher authorities when dealing with them. For example, if someone is a potential ‘cow’ that the police men are planning to milk suddenly grabs his phone and calls the commissioner of police or a political figure that can suddenly call off their ‘operation’, policemen find this annoying. That period is a boiling point and if the person doesn’t handle the situation well, it can become volatile.
- Speaking ‘Grammar’
A long explanation to a policeman laced with constitutional injunction is an invitation for trouble. Lagos police get mad when a person tries to talk himself out of trouble by quoting sections of the constitution to prove that he has not committed an offence is regarded as a sign of ego and disrespect and Lagos police get very aggressive when that happens. Thy like it when a person falls back to communicating in pidgin English instead of invoking queen’s English!