Over the years, it is a common slogan that bail in the Police Station is free and as such is considered as an offence for anyone to offer money for bail which is a crime for both the person giving it and the person receiving it.
Considering the condition with which the Nigeria Police operates, one will come to the reality that bail is free only in theoretical terms, not practical.
For instance, the Police Officers buy stationeries such as bail bond, bond to produce, statement form, investigation activities etc with their personal money.
The Police Officers also use their personal money to repair breakdown patrol vehicles, replace tyres and all the maintenance, including fueling.
It is only the Police vehicle you can find in a private mechanic workshop for repair but not so in other forces, yet ‘bail is free’ by the way. What is the salary of a Police Officer who pays house rent, sends his children to school and also pays other bills?
I am not advocating for the Police to collect money for bail but the reality is that you cannot give what you don’t have in order to please anyone.
Let the truth be told, most at times it is we the citizens that influence Police to ask for money to bail a suspect because for example, when our relation is arrested for any offence such as affray, instead of allowing the Police to do their job by charging the suspect to court, we don’t allow them, in that case that is when you rub my back I rub your back and the Police need that money to buy stationeries mentioned earlier.
The Divisional Police Officer DPO is given 3 patrol vehicles to work in his/her division without maintenance allowance, how does him/her cope and if there is a distress call you expect the Police to use his personal car to rescue the situation where is it done?
The sooner the Government does the needful in providing for the needs of our gallant Police Officers to perform well in the discharge of their duty the better otherwise theoretically bail is free is a mere slogan.
In my opinion, I will suggest that a certain amount of money should be used for bail for instance the national assembly should amend both the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Police Act allowing the Police to collect money for bail and such money to be paid to the account of the Federal Government through the banks for the general maintenance of our Police Station for offences such as affray, conduct likely to cause breach of peace e.t.c to reduce crime rate.