IS Getting A Police Report for an Incident that Costly?

Please share your experience if you have one!!!

I am currently playing the song of Fela which sings, ” Police station don turn to bank, DPO na Bank Manager, Police station don turn to bank, IG na Managing Director”. As I listened to it, I remember the experience I recently had with the Nigeria Police at the Divisional Police Office in Lagos. It is funny that if you need help from the police, you should be ready to have money to buy the help.

After all, it is said, the Police is your friend. Not to be totally discriminatory, the Police in their better part do a very good job in combatting crime. They have the fire power which sometimes does not meet that of the criminals. But when it comes to combating the innocent, the fire power is not needed. The swift way of turning the coin to make you part with the leftover of what you lost in an incident challenges your trust and confidence in the Police. That is if you trust them before.

I recently had an incident at home and suffered some losses. My insurance company was contacted as I had taken insurance for some of the items and need to make the claims. Fault number 1

  • I did not call the police immediately after the incident.  This was a fire incident, a minor one at this instance.  why? I had to relocate my family so as to have a good night sleep.  The next day I would go and do the needful. 
  • I did not inform the fire service as the fire was put out swiftly with the help of neighbors as I was not present during the incident.

Alternatively, I took pictures of the scene and the items burnt so as to present it to the insurance company and also to any other department that may require it for verification.  It would cost me more, if I don’t put my house in order and move back in.  So I did what everyone would do.  It is not my personal home, – this is rented.

Now the Police was informed, the first comment from the DCO after my explanation was that, it is Arson.  I wonder, what is Arson?

Arson[1] is the crime of intentionally and maliciously setting fire to buildings, wildland areas,[2] cars[3][4] or other property with the intent to cause damage. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires. Arson often involves fires deliberately set to the property of another or to one’s own property as to collect insurance compensation.[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arson

I did not mention to us at the beginning that the fire started as a result of electrical power surge when PHCN restored power.  So how could this be Arson.  I had to clear the air on this with the DCO. Concluded it was a minor fire incident. whew!!!

I was now transferred to a Woman Inspector to assist with investigation and issuing of a Police Report.  To my amazement, which of cause was not that surprising, I was told it would cost me N20,000.  I said No.  That was where the problem started.

I applied for the report on the 20th January and I got the report after a lot of games, IPO is not around, file is not with me, the application can’t be found. Come back on several days.  Finally, I got the report on the 13th February (25 days after application).  After seeing the DPO who said they must not fail to make me comply with the request.

Guess what.  I paid N10,000 for a Police report which was not type well,  and worst of all,  I did not even need the police report after all.  The Insurance company representative later told me on the phone after I confirmed I have collected it that they won’t need it.  If they need it anything, it would be a fire service report. Yes, I feel what you are exclaiming right now.  I exclaimed the same too.

Summarily, I paid N10,000 for what I am not going to make use of and took me several daily visits to await preparation and collection of a not so useful Police report.

If you want to know the location of the Police station, leave me a comment.

What can we do to help our Police?

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