Don’t Go To A Bar in Lagos, You Just Might Be Arrested!

If you are an active member of the Nigerian tweetosphere, you will have seen this story trending on Saturday. Here’s what really happened

On Friday, the 23rd of November, my friend went for a drink in a bar near his house. Members of the Nigerian Police Force came around 11pm and picked about 7 of them up from that bar. Dumping their victims into the back of a black van, loosely referred to as a “Black Maria”, they went on a raiding spree. Picking patrons of different pubs and bars around the Yaba environs, there was no method to the madness. There was no case of profiling; they picked girls and guys! One guy was hauled out of his car, leaving his bewildered girlfriend behind. They went into bars, just randomly dumping people in the back of their vans and they headed towards Sabo police station.

Fortunately, their mobile phones were not collected so my friend went on a tweeting spree. By the time the battery of his smart phone died, he had been transferred to the Task Force office in Alausa. As I drove to Yaba in the morning to get him some form of identification (seeing as he had just gone on a leisurely stroll down the road) I went through different stages of anger. Mostly at the state of things in Nigeria. The question that kept reverberating in my head was “Can a man not peacefully spend his money in a bar any more in Nigeria?”

We spend hours in traffic plying through bad roads. We get home and there’s no power supply. We can’t turn on the generator because there’s fuel scarcity and the queues to buy petrol stretch over a mile long and then we can’t even go to a bar to have a cold drink? I don’t know about you guys but the problem with this country runs deep.

By 9am the following morning, the ‘officers’ who picked them up had still not told them what their crime was. The girls amongst them were thrown in solitary confinement and the guys were locked up in a little enclosure.
As friends and family of the people who had been held hostage gathered outside, testimonies were shared of how this was a regular occurrence. Someone said “This is December time, when dem police dem dey broke, dem go just go dey carry people up and down. Na money una go take bail una sef commot. No be serious matter” Another person said “People wey no get any person toh come for dem, if dem stay for 3 days and nobody come, dem go move dem go Badagry! From dia, pesin go just miss.”

I literally shivered! Badagry ke? I hurriedly grabbed my phone, asking my friend to find out what the procedure for using money to regain his freedom. He was surprisingly very calm. Knowing he’s a bit of a smart mouth, I asked if he hadn’t been running off his mouth at any of the police guys, to which he responded “Omo! I’m gentle oh! They’re brushing guys here. If you behave like you’re too smart sef, they’ll beat you black and blue.”

A few hours and a whole lot of Tweets later, somebody called someone who called somebody else and KB was released. The questions, however, remained unanswered. “What was their crime?” “Why were they picked up?” “If we supposedly live in a society were the constitution is the grundnorm, should things like these still happen?” If in a democracy, civilians can’t exercise their rights to move freely then I weep for my nation.

We need to NOT tolerate these things as the norm. We need to NOT make excuses for extra-judicial killings. we need to NOT accept what is WRONG as RIGHT!

We need to say “NO!”, and if you don’t think we should, then remember, that like a Ferris wheel, these things have a way of coming back around.

How do we ensure that these things stop? How do we bring this to the notice of the Inspector General of Police? Whose responsibility is it to make sure that law abiding citizens are safe? How do we ensure that the State Government puts a stop to this kind of extra-judicial bullying.

Let’s do something, anything because my heart bleeds for my country.

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44 Comments on Don’t Go To A Bar in Lagos, You Just Might Be Arrested!
  • miqos November 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    one should always be careful these days its christmas period

    • Biodun November 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      oh please i’m tired of this Christmas period/ Ember months nonsense!!! In other countries its a joyous period with lights and goodwill everywhere. But my fellow Nigerians believe there’s some end of year evil spirit flying around slaughtering pple. We are evidently still in the dark ages if we cannot point fingers at a failing government that has no control over thugs/beggars with guns it calls its police force or a government that cannot fix roads and enforce traffic laws to minimize reckless driving and resulting death. Oh no! its nasty ember month evil spirits at work again!! Numpties.

      • HABBA November 27, 2012 at 12:12 am

        but its true tho! during christmas period there are more rituals, kidnappings and armed robbery.

  • X factor November 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Since the assumption of the new Lagos police chief in office, things have gone veeerrryyy bad….there is a need for a protest for his removal from office

  • Jiddah November 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Do you think the Inspector General of Police is not aware of these occurences. They are well aware of it and sadly nothing is being done about it.

    Arresting people on the streets is so commomn, i once read a story where a boy went out to buy bread in the evening and never returned home. His parent found his dead body in a police station the next day. How do we explain it. Glad your friend spoke out and I hope these brings some form of sensitisation in the NPF. We wont give up on Nigeria

  • Fan November 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    A similar situation happened to me back in my final year at unilag… it was simply horrible… i was kidnap. i was in a car outside a off campus female hostel with friend and suddenly a police van passed by, they came down pulled the girl out and put her in the bus, i cam down to object and i got slapped twice… one of the armed officers entered my car and asked me to drive behind the bus. We where taken to sabo police station… i paid about 6k to avoid being locked in the cell and to avoid staying the night.

    And trust me my case was a lot better compared to what i saw there that night and how people (Nigerians) where treated.

    Simply traumatic…

    Police is not your friend in Nigeria

  • fake detonator November 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    “somebody called someone who called somebody else and KB was released”..
    u gotta luv that. Hilarious

  • No Sorry November 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I hope this continues so the shameless married men and runs girls can stop trolling the bars.

    • reformed protestant November 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      you must be a fustrated human being! On a more gentle note, i pray you dont experience Nigerian police brutality. ode oshi

    • Fan November 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      You and ur own need marriage counselling not police kidnapping innocent Nigerians.

    • plenty sorry November 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      hahahaha this person is well and truly frustrated. Please if you have nothing productive to say go tend to your wound somewhere. These arrests for no reason are unfair to the people involved. It is a trausmitising experience being in a police station not to talk of being locked up.

      I heard this raid was orchestrated by the guys who own road runners. All the “correct” bars/clubs in yaba were raided except them. They paid the police to carry out these activities so they can look safe i guess they want to host them hennessy parties.

      Anyhoo my sincere sympathy goes to those who got arrested and it the road runners chaps were truly involved then this is going to mean war for the bars in yaba o!!!

    • Idak November 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      You need Jesus. Just leave the bars for us. Your husband do you bad thing?

  • Chattyzee November 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    While I find this very annonying, I could not help but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all .. I hope everyone was freed. And I hope all those evil officers get their own in double portion!

  • thomiey November 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    This ‘no sorry’ person is toooo foolish…Anuofia

  • Avenger November 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Kai this “No Sorry” individual i bow for u oh!!! Is it really possible that someone could be so myopic? Runs girls and married men….lol…may God release you from the constraints of irrational anger.

  • jyde November 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Since childhood its bn a fact of life ingrained into the brain dat when u see olopa u take cover.
    My pocket money sef dem take am,my friends without coins collected six six lashes.
    This as a ten yr old,30yrs later man dey waka wid “oga wetin u get 4us” money 4pocket.
    Na so e be 4nijah.LAWLESS!!. X-MASdon reach so make una watch out 4robbers areaboyz and NPF.The boyz in blue.Instead of protecting us they robb&kill us.
    ONLY4NIJAH.What a land we live in.

  • PussyBoy November 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Omo, na to dey drink ogidiga and viju milk jeje for my house dey blast Olamide oooooooooooooooooo

    • jyde November 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Old by na true u talk.who like imsef go siddon jeje 4en house dey enjoy imsef b4 e find wetin e no want.simple.Na house b de only safe beer parlour 4gidi O.

  • Idak November 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Don’t go to bars in Lagos?
    Wetin i go come do on Friday evenings? Make una stop that joke o!

  • @ajiriavae November 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    We need to petition the IG of police on this matter. Because, it fit be you next time. And this time, in broad daylight, down your own street.

  • faith November 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Not a new story…very common in enugu…smh

  • iamfascinating November 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    truly, the police are much worse than ever before! they dehumanise okada riders by stripping them naked, they are locking people up and are trigger-happy.this has to stop.the IG cant keep turning a blind eye!

    • Amir November 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      I think we all should send our daily complaints to the IG via email on and demand for independent body made of graduates like me who not will not turn the blind eye to any human right abuse on our people no matter the class, age or gender setup by the IG to investigate the police many bogus arrests and report directly to the IG.

  • Cynthia November 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Wonderssssssssss, so someone would just be trying to have fun,and it’s a problem wa for wa

  • Aspirin November 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    God will save this country!

  • jyde November 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Wetin concern I.G inside.No b so en sef start out as officer 4road.?If u want police u go teach am how to police now.Dey no dey send monkey go market.Same as police,if u carry gun give bushman,na anytin en like e go do. Abi i lie?

  • odior November 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    @no sorry….rubbish talk

  • Naija Realist November 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I’ve learnt to neither trust the Nigeria Police nor many of its “victims”!

  • Mayo November 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    This is Madness but not a surprise….at age 16 Myself and a group of friends were picked up around the akoka area at a gaming center by policemen who accused us of Gambling….we were held for more than 12 hours. Knowing the injustice in Nigeria hey, that kind of crap had come to be expected. But the sad part was they also picked up 6 and 7 year olds who just came to watch us play…..they stayed in the cell with the rest of us adults. Nigeria is a joke and a disgrace. Couldnt wait to leave!! I feel sorry for Nigerians

  • Lady bee November 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Naija police will never change no amount of salary u give then

  • Pd November 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    They were in a bar……I was just strolling towards the bar with my brother ,when we were kidnapped by the police…..our offense was jaywalking(mo gbo ri) on adeniran ogunsanya. We were pushed into a Danfo with other offenders (ashawo n co) my just-came-back-from London brother come dey speak grammar ooooo…..I was pointing to my Dunlop slippers(flip flop) trying to explain myself……they didn’t listen.we were told we would be taken to 1 station at oshodi….ha! Mo gbe! My bro had to stage an epileptic fit( coughing n choking at the same time) before they parked by the roadside and carried him gently from bus ….citing …Ma Je ki Ito e kan e ni ara oh….meaning ….don’t let his spit touch your skin oh……before they zoomed off ….leaving us to fend for ourselves. My brother lost his voice for 3days……Naija police mad gan ni!

    • intheoverseas November 27, 2012 at 8:53 am

      Hahaha! your story telling is hilarious!

  • kayyoung November 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    It’s so sad but the truth is that Nigeria will never change.. Its just an hopeless country.. I read comments and peoples responses worry me.. People have accepted failure and they are happy to live in it day.. It pains me so much to say that Nigeria is dead gaint..

  • Glam November 27, 2012 at 5:54 am

    This isn’t funny a bit. So relaxing after a day’s job is now a crime? Shouldn’t the Governor and other authorities alike look into police menace, it’s becoming unbecoming.

  • Tinkerbell November 27, 2012 at 7:39 am

    The problem with Nigeria starts with us as individuals. If you analyse properly, corruption and every form of social ills and the likes plaguing the country starts from the individuals. We need a change in orientation and our psyche as individuals in thIs country. As for the police, think they need to sack everyone of them and rehire a new crop of workers who are trained properly.

  • Onyeka November 27, 2012 at 7:48 am

    U must not know about Enugu then! smh.. People get arrested playing football here, at certain points people were supposedly arrested for wearing flip flops on major roads whether havaianas or not..bars get raided and everyone arrested! This issue needs to be addressed, the Nigerian Police Force needs a total overhaul, we cannot continue to live like this in this country.

  • Akindele @ Bulk SMS Nigeria November 27, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Police officers who are involving in such acts will surely reap the consequencies.

  • slim gals thou quality November 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Why should a responsible man still be a in the bar around 11pm?

    • Dr. Dayo November 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      dont be stupid!

    • Mayo November 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      Why should such a responsible individual make such a daft comment…lol

  • ruth November 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

    its soo sad dt our country has given too much power 2 ol dese uniform ppl.dr shud b a limit 2 wt dey cn do 2 citizens,av cin a preg woman beaten 2 pulp coz she was rude 2 a civil defence guy&evry1 jst watched.

  • Nne Nne November 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

    My main problem is that we talk and complain a lot about these issues but it seems nobody is really ready to do anything about it. The only reason that places like the States are slightly better is that people did something (Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks)….. things can change. But we have to make them change. And it can be done peacefully….. but once the process has started, it must be followed through (another problem is that we don’t follow through).

  • paoafull November 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    What is the way Out?… May be victims should video such activities with their phone, and with an avenue like this the world can see wat we face. And maybe, 1 by 1 we can get the bad 1ce from them.

    • Pd November 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Video…….don’t you know that’s like AK 47 for police eye! Them go shoot you straight and place a gun by your side! arm robbery things……no forensic things ooo….na person whei die e own finish!

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