LOVE CANNOT AFFORD TO BE BLIND (The Pain And The Police)

LOVE CANNOT AFFORD TO BE BLIND (The Pain And The Police)

I would first of all like to appreciate the wave of empathy that came my way from this community following the sharing of the story of my ordeal in the hands of the person I gave everything to. I would also like to thank the people who reached out to me through Pink Panther, the ones who have given suggestions and ideas on how to track down the scumbag called Taiwo Olakunle Balogun and the ones who sent me financial aid even though I didn’t ask for it. You all are the reason why I still have faith in the strength of this community that I am a part of. It is very heartwarming to know that this place is capable of this amount of kindness.

I would however like to create some context for those who have criticized some of the actions I took during the stressful period that followed after Taiwo disappeared on me. There has been some reprehension over how I supposedly didn’t look hard enough for Taiwo before giving in to the circumstances of the arrests and the police harassment, and over how I shouldn’t have quit my job. I didn’t go into detail regarding these circumstances, and I would like to rectify that.

***

I quit my job because I was desperate for some mental, emotional and psychological peace. I was working with Bolu, this man who was on a vengeful path to get back his car. And I was constantly on the receiving end of his harassment. This created a situation where I could barely focus on my job, even being afraid of going to work because I knew he’d be there, waiting to make my life a living hell. I don’t know how anyone can endure such constant hostility in close quarters like this, but I couldn’t.

I needed space.

I needed to be away from all the judging looks and pitying looks that others at the workplace were giving me. The whispers that tried me for my crime against Bolu and found me either guilty or innocent. The censure from my supervisors who called me to order over the mess my lack of focus was making of my work.

So, instead of getting to the point where I’d be fired, I chose to resign.

And if you don’t know a stressful situation like this, you cannot judge or criticize me for my resignation.

***

In January ending, when there was still no car available to give to my colleague, Bolu, the two of us went to the police station to see about how to proceed with the difficult situation. The IPO who was put in charge of the case was Alhaja Yinka. Like I said in the last part of this story, before then, I’d consulted a lawyer friend of mine on my case, and so, he went with me to the police station at this time.

When we got there, the IPO wasn’t around. When we called her, she referred to us to another officer, SUPO Yinka (her namesake). We met with him, and he told us that the case hadn’t gotten to the stage of taking it to court and paying for the car, that there was still a lot that could be done that hadn’t been done by the police to try and retrieve the car. He talked about tracking the phone numbers of Taiwo’s family members, since Taiwo’s number was no longer available. He sounded really kind and his words gave me hope, especially when he said he was going to talk to the DPO and then get back to us.

So I left the station with high hopes that the police was my friend.

Little did I know how wrong I was.

Something must have happened to SUPO Yinka and his good intentions – maybe the DPO chastised him for his ideas, which would come in the way of them getting whatever settlement that was promised them, should they instead press their knee down on my neck – because the next time we went to the station, SUPO Yinka acted very cool toward us, like we weren’t the same people on whose behalf he’d proposed to intercede. He basically ignored me and my lawyer.

And that was the beginning of the loss of my faith in the Nigerian Police.

During this visit, both the DPO and IPO Alhaja Yinka were around. The IPO brought the DPO up to speed on the particulars of the case. When the DPO turned to my lawyer for his input, my lawyer informed them that the case holds no water. He pointed out that I neither stole the car nor aided in the theft of the car. That I was as much a victim of this as Bolu was. He also said that there was no signed agreement holding me responsible for any issues regarding the car, that that business was strictly between Bolu and Taiwo. In the event that this has happened, he said that both Bolu and I should share the burden of the loss equally, instead of this expectation that I should pay for the car.

The DPO acquiesced, saying that they would see to a resolution that would work for every party involved.

I had no idea that this man – and every one of them in that room – were in Bolu’s pocket. He’d apparently been paying them for their services to him, and the DPO was lying when he acted like they’d pursue any solution that would favour me in anyway.

The day I found myself in handcuffs and getting bundled off to court started like a normal day. I was scheduled to go to the police station to follow up on the DPO’s supposed interest in pursuing a workable resolution. I went to the station on my own this time, because I figured I didn’t need to drag my lawyer with me to a meeting where everything was going to be copacetic. This decision not to go with my lawyer was even encouraged by the DPO at our last meeting.

Expectedly, I walked into a trap.

I got to the station, and the next thing I knew, I was getting handcuffed and getting charged to court. The DPO who had been so agreeable during the last meeting was now glaring at me with an ugly look and saying, “You are the one at fault in this matter, and you still had the mind to carry lawyer and come, eh? I will deal with you!” And then, he turned to his men and barked, “Take him to court now!”

But IPO Alhaja Yinka cut in. She was on full maternal mode, putting into action whatever acting skills she learned from watching Ngozi Ezeonu on TV as she played the good cop to the DPO’s bad cop. She was like, “Ryan, do something, my son. I know you are innocent. I have always known you are not at fault here, right from day one. You are calm and gentle. You have a bright future ahead of you. And I don’t want to see that future stained by you having a criminal record.”

She went on and on, playing on my erratic emotions of pain, confusion and misery. Eventually, after going to court to find that the sitting judge was unavailable, I was allowed to call my sister, who said that she would pay for the car. Then she contacted my lawyer, per my request, who came to the station and got me released on bail. And then I was instructed to come back on the following Monday.

While we were still at the station, preparing to leave, the DPO started talking to Bolu in Yoruba. They must have assumed that I couldn’t understand Yoruba (maybe because of my un-Yoruba name or maybe because of the way I’d been acting like a dummy around them), for them to carry on with that conversation within earshot.

The DPO was saying to Bolu, “See na, we don put fear enter am and him family, and now they want to pay for the car. You have to reason us better money than our last agreement.”

When they suddenly noticed that I was within earshot of their conversation, the DPO got self conscious enough to tell me to get going, that they were through with me.

That was how I got to realize that the Nigerian Police is indeed not your friend. They are only friends with the highest bidder.

Written by Ryan

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5 Comments

  1. Eddie
    June 26, 11:50 Reply

    Nigerian Police Force personnel are cursed….. No matter how much they extort,it never shows….. they look wretched.
    I pray you get through this Sha🙏

    • Gbolly
      June 26, 17:05 Reply

      They don’t know they re laying curses both on themselves and their generation
      Stupid people

  2. Gbolly
    June 26, 17:03 Reply

    Ryan
    Sorry
    Your story is touching
    But I want you to put your hand on your chest and calm down
    Move on
    Then make sure you are ready to crush your “enemies”
    Totally
    Actually this world is a small one
    Taiwo put you in this mess because of love,
    Am sure you are going to take your pound of flesh back
    But do this with mercy: don’t misinterpret me for “killing him”
    You know you will surely catch him
    Sorry bruh
    But move on
    Everything that happens in life happens for the best
    This is just kind of a lesson to you not to trust
    Bad asses any more
    Have a nice day
    “Ryan”

  3. Supreme
    June 26, 22:00 Reply

    You sound sensitive, you should toughen up. You should not have quit. Bolu could not do anything in that office to you. He would even think twice before putting his colleague in that situation with the police, knowing your organization could find out. They all took advantage of your fear.

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