The recent news of the arrest, torture and detention of a young lady; Jennifer Madueke by her one time lover, Adegoke Atilade; a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Denton Police Division in Lagos on the suspicion that Madueke stole his service pistol during her visit to his office, has brought to the fore some of the inadequacies in our police administration.
Though the panel set up by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu last Friday to discreetly investigate the matter is yet to carry out its responsibility with a view to ascertaining who is culpable in the circumstance, yet issues associated with the incident have left so much to convince any discerning mind that CSP Atilade has soiled his hand.
By his own confession, Atilade told the media (PUNCH Newspaper) that of a truth, Madueke was his one time lover who got reconnected after some years of separation caused by distance. He went ahead to say that during Madueke’s visit to his office in late August, 2021, he had told her not to continue to visit again as her coming did not bring any value.
By his further confession, Atilade received Madueke in his office once again at a time another girlfriend had visited. Since it was too late for her to go back to where she came from, Madueke and the other girl were left to pass the night in the man’s office. According to him, he went out on patrol and only to return about 4am to discharge Madueke, who allegedly and unknowingly to the police officer had stolen N50,000 from a bag he kept at the back of his seat. He was later to discover that his service pistol had been stolen suspectedly by the same Madueke.
According to Atilade, his suspicion was later confirmed by a native doctor (herbalist) and an Alfa that Madueke actually stole the money and pistol. The second girlfriend was a witness to the confirmation, he alleged since both of them went together to do the consultation.
He was later to go after Madueke few days later, who ignorantly came back to the office without knowing what awaited her. She was promptly arrested, tortured and charged with allegation of having stolen the pistol. Atilade eventually took her to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti for further investigation.
In all of this, CSP Atilade by his confession or explanation to the PUNCH journalist has cast his personality in the mud as unworthy of his rank and position because no officer worth his rank and position as a CSP and deployed as a DPO would condescend so low to abuse the office he occupies.
Even though investigation is on going to properly situate the case in a jurisprudential space, circumstantial evidence already provided by Atilade in his media interview point to the fact that he truly lacks the finesse to fit into the office he occupies.
His actions and inactions in the context of this particular incident that ignobly revolves around immorality in the office space, confirmed what those who know much about him have revealed to the media.
He is said to be unprofessionally qualified to occupy the office of a DPO in a cosmopolitan city like Lagos or any other place for that matter. His colleagues who anonymously spoke to the media about him alleged that his unprofessionalism stemmed from the fact that he enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force as a tradesman and not an operations or general duty police man.
Those who got into the Force as tailors, plumbers, mechanics, electricians, drivers etc are regarded as tradesman whose special skills are needed to render the services that relate to their trade. They do not normally go through the same type of police training that can qualify them as detectives, investigators and all such intelligence driven functions. They are restricted to their trades and do not usually go on transfer across the states.
Such tradesmen due to influence of senior police officers who they have some relationship with, over time got converted from their position to general duty policing in a manner that still leaves them with inadequate operational training as detectives.
Atilade is said to belong to this category as he is “a convertee” from the tradesmen category to general policing but without adequate operational training, tutelage in intelligence driven policing and field experience that could give him stability in the discharge of his duties as a DPO. Even if he had undergone some training in his conversion process, he is described as not professionally qualified to be posted as DPO in a state where many well trained and experienced CSPs are yet to get posting as DPO.
He is a beneficiary of the Nigerian factor of who you know to guarantee your posting and certainly not the knowledge, training or experience one possess.
The lesson therefore from the Atilade incident of service pistol theft and sex escapade should be for the police management not to allow square pegs to occupy round holes in a Police Force with already battered national image.
Well trained police officers are usually known to act with circumspection in matters of this nature but CSP Atilade did not caution himself before loquaciously giving himself out as unrefined officer with no decency.
Though, the investigating panel will do its work, but so far, his self indicting statement or confession is enough to convict him in the public court.