DPO Confesses: We Run Police Stations With Bribes Due To Lack Of Money

Meager allocations from the Federal Government
that has refused to decentralize the Police is
putting Nigeria police stations at the mercy of
charity from communities and dirty money from
“Unknown to us, this hotelier was engaging
in commercial sexual exploitation of
juveniles in the hotel. We were shocked to
learn about this and initially it was very
hard for us to take a decision due to the
support he had been rendering to the
police station," said a DPO.
Temitayo Famutimi reports that for whoever
wants to know why inefficiency is the lot of the
Nigeria Police, the starting point may be to
closely watch the state of things at police
stations across the country. Apart from the poor
physical state of many of them, they are largely
run on charity.
By the way, how much should a police station,
which ought to be always battle-ready in all
ramifications, since security problems can arise
any time, have in its coffer at every point in
time? Well, investigations by our correspondent
shows that some of the police stations in
Nigeria get as low as N35,000 as allocation from
the force headquarters per quarter.
This is the reason why in all the states of the
federation, many police stations rely on
philanthropic gestures from members of their
host communities and proceeds of bribery to
function effectively. And that is why inscriptions
such as ‘Donated by Welders Association’,
‘Community Development Association’ are
constant features on many items and facilities
found in many police stations in the country.
From rehabilitation of buildings, to fuelling of
patrol vans and generators that serve the
stations, many Divisional Police Officers appear
to have been turned into beggars of some sort.
Besides, Nigerians who have at one time or the
other had a reason to report an incident at a
police station are no longer new to the
demands from the policeman on duty, asking
them to part with sums between N500 and N1,
000 before their statement can be taken.
Even after taking such statements and there is
a need to make an arrest of those reported, the
policeman on duty asks the complainant to
drop another N2, 000 to fuel the police patrol
A cross section of DPOs who spoke to our
correspondent on the condition of anonymity
say the development poses a dilemma and,
indeed, a threat to the operations of the
security agents.
Besides, despite the Inspector-General of
Police’s order outlawing police check-points on
highways, policemen are still occasionally
sighted at some strategic highways across the
country, mounting roadblocks and extorting
money from the motoring public.
The reasons why this development has
continued to be a regular feature of policing in
the country, according to men and senior
officers of the police, is as a result of the paltry
sum of money being allocated to run police
They declare that many of them run the affairs
of police stations from the proceeds of bribes
collected by men who go on regular patrols as
well as philanthropic gestures of members of
the public.
But a new twist to this development is that
criminals are joining other law abiding citizens
to contribute to the running of police stations
in the country.
A DPO serving in the Ogun State Police
Command explains that depending on members
of the public for effective policing is not only
risky but also against the principles of policing.
Describing the majority of such philanthropic
gestures as a Greek gift, the senior police officer
says experience has shown that many of these
donors usually have skeletons in their
Buttressing his argument with what transpired
in his area of jurisdiction, he explains that an
hotelier who had taken up the responsibility of
paying for the monthly subscription of the DSTV
in the police station was, initially unknown to
him, doing so as a cover for his child abuse
activities in his hotel.
He says, “My men didn’t have the gut to take
actions because they were unsure if they had
the moral right to arrest a staunch supporter of
the station. My men had to await my arrival at
the station before a decision to raid the hotel
had to be taken.
“Expectedly, the subscription for the DSTV
stopped and, ever since, I foot the bill from my
purse whenever I have enough money to spare."
Investigations by Punch reveal that police
stations receive quarterly allocations from state
commands, after the latter would have got
reimbursements from the Force Headquarters,
A senior police source at the Ogun State Police
Command headquarters in Abeokuta also
confided in our correspondent that the
quarterly allocation the command receives from
the Force Headquarters fluctuates between
N450, 000 and N650, 000.
This amount, it was gathered, is meant for
catering for the needs of the 46 police stations
and the five area commands in the state for
three months. The amount, it was learnt, is not
distributed equally among the police stations as
criteria such as the size of the police station
and the crime wave in the station’s area of
jurisdiction were being used to determine how
much each station receives.
A Divisional Police Officer in the Command, who
claims to be receiving one of the highest
quarterly allocations, says his division receives
between N35, 000 and N40, 000 every three
This amount, according to him, is meant to
cover fuelling of patrol vehicles, generators,
stationeries, communication, and other
expenses incurred by the police station during
the three-month period.
The DPO, who also pleads anonymity because he
is not in a position to speak to the press,
explains that the allocation for a typical quarter
is not even enough to fuel the patrol vehicles in
the station for three days, let alone covering
the whole expenses for three months.
He says, “It is very difficult to run a police
station as a DPO without your men engaging in
corrupt practices. How do you run a police
station without funds? To describe the
allocations we get quarterly as inadequate is to
say the least.
“I get less than N40,000 to cater for my running
costs quarterly, and, as a matter of fact, to run
a truly motorised patrol, for instance, you will
need about 40 litres of petrol in 24 hours for a
patrol van and this amounts to N3, 840 daily.
In this division, we have four patrol vehicles
and this makes it N15,360 daily.
“If we decide to spend the allocation only on
petrol, the money wouldn’t last more than three
days. So, where do we get the money to make
up for the huge shortfalls? Am I in the position
to tell policemen who incessantly complain of
poor salaries to donate money to run the affairs
of the station?”
In Lagos, the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, a
public-private partnership established by law in
2007, has been useful in this regard. The LSSTF
intervention ranges from acquisition of police
equipment, purchasing of patrol vehicles and
their maintenance.
However, a senior police officer in the state,
explains that patrol vehicles whose maintenance
bill is footed by the LSSTF are those attached to
the Rapid Response Squad, noting that other
vehicles in police divisions are left in care of
DPOs to maintain from the quarterly allocation.
The police officer explains that the quarterly
allocation given to police stations in the state
is between N45, 000 and N80, 000, depending
on the size of the police station and the crime
wave in the area the station is situated.
He adds, “Police funding is a problematic issue
and there is no way the police will perform
magic with the way we are being funded. For
my division, I get an allocation of N45, 000
quarterly. Just tell me what that money can
cover out of the needs of the station for a total
of 90 days?.
“Apart from fuelling of patrol vehicles and
generators to power the police station, we incur
expenses on stationeries. This is especially
because the police are not ICT-compliant. As a
result, we often beg for assistance from
members of the public.’’
According to investigations, DPOs are usually in
the habit of holding save-our-souls meeting
with the members of the community in their
jurisdiction to solicit for help to run the affairs
of the station.
In such meetings, it was gathered, community
development associations, owners of small
businesses, among others, usually take up one
or two responsibilities of catering for the needs
of such police stations.
One of the DPOs in Lagos State Police Command
told our correspondent that when he assumed
office, in one of such meetings, he begged the
stakeholders in the community who raised
money to buy blocks, pay for the labour costs as
well as foot the bill for fixing a gate around the
station’s fence.
He says, “For you to succeed as a DPO there is
no way you won’t live your life as if you are a
beggar because money won’t be forthcoming
from the top to make ends meet. And who are
you to ask questions? When you are invited to a
meeting with your boss, maybe at the Area
Commander or Commissioner of Police, and
issues bordering on finance come up, the best
you can do is to say ‘yes sir, I’ll manage, sir.
“When I resumed at my duty post I specifically
made the areas of needs of the station known
to the various stakeholders in the community.
At the end of the day, some private citizens and
managers of firms were the ones who erected
the fence of the station.”
He adds that after much persuasion, two
managers of the petrol stations in the area had
been providing the station with 50 litres of
petrol per week. The Officer in Charge of Patrol
and Guard goes around taking delivery of the
fuel every Monday.
“And when the fuel finishes, the boys know how
to go about getting the patrol vehicle refuelled
because the work has to be done,” he adds.
A source in Akwa Ibom State Police Command
explains that the situation is not different from
other state commands. He however notes that
the local government chairmen provide some
monthly allowances to support police stations in
their domains.
Also, a police source adds that the case of many
states in the northern part of the country is
usually worsened by the presence of many
police posts under police divisions.
Another source at the Police Force Headquarters
says the Police Public Relations Officers in the
various state commands are worse off as their
offices are not entitled to any allocations from
the Force Headquarters.
The source adds that the PPROs in the various
commands live at the mercy of the
commissioners of police in their respective
The source notes, “The IG is just trying to work
around something and find a way of including
that office in the scheme of things to function
appropriately. What about officers who get
transferred to new police commands? The
allowance they are entitled to in lieu of
accommodation at that new desk for 30 days is
not often even paid.
“Nigerian police officers and men are suffering
in silence and yet we are expected to perform
some magic. There are no two ways to it: The
Federal Government and the National Assembly
should commit more funds to the police for
effective policing of the country."
When contacted, the acting Force Public
Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, a Chief
Superintendent of Police, confirmed the plight
of the DPOs across the country.
According to him, the challenges are not
peculiar to one particular state stressing that
the state of police stations across the country
are pathetic.
He adds that the Force Headquarters is
constrained and cannot fund the various police
divisions, area commands and state commands
appropriately because, “we cannot give what we
don’t have."
Mba advises officers and men of the Nigeria
Police to do everything “humanly possible,” to
do the job well despite the “challenges and

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