Reporter’s Diary: A Night of Robbery and the fruitless effort at getting justice


SUB: In the midnight of Friday July 9th, 2021, this freelance reporter was at the mercy of gun wielding, eyes-shacking armed robbers who invaded his residence in the Barika area of Ibadan. Here, he shares his experience with armed robbers and his frustration at getting justice through the Nigerian Police.

By: Oluwatobi Odeyinka
West Africa’s largest city of Ibadan always wears its rusty brownness with pride, while its people bustle in the trade of garrulity. Although it boasts of the First and Best University, among other Firsts in Nigeria, yet life has become increasingly rough and tough in Ibadan, courtesy of the upward shift in the Oyo state’s insecurity curve.

Upon resumption of a new session after the year-long COVID-19 lockdown, the management reinforced my disdain for hostel accommodation when it announced that priorities would be accorded freshers and finalists for allocation.
“Why should I lobby to live a ghetto life in Katanga republic when I can get a decent room off campus?” I thought to myself, but had I known….

I was just getting settled after about a month and half in my new residence in Barika, which is just a kilometer drive from the main gate of UI. We all know how life-threatening exams can be in UI, so I need not mention that I had had a loooong day, attending classes and preparing for the first semester examination.

My peaceful sleep that night was disrupted around 2:00am. I would not know what tool the assailants used to break down my door, but I saw a figure pointing a gun at me and screaming some incoherent words.

Dazed and angered by this rude intrusion, I raised my head to have a clearer look at this noisy character that would not allow me to enjoy my sleep in my own room. But my raised head was met with a blow. “What do you want to do?” One of them queried with rage and fear, as another advanced and hit me with his rifle. Then and there, I bade farewell to sleep, and faced reality.

While holding my forehead, covered in blood, I surrendered my phones and laptop. My friend, who was unfortunate to have slept over after a visit, did the same, and pleaded with them to spare our lives.
The robbers also collected cash and ATM cards. About three hours later, they had started generating One Time Passwords (OTP) with my account and conducting online transactions.

Our Vehicles are not working – Police

After treating my injuries at the Jaja clinic, I proceeded, alongside two of my friends to the Police station in Sango, to make a report of the incident.

“Oh! We have been expecting you,” the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) said, as he invited us to his office.

He assured us that the matter would be taken up by his division.

I was pleased with the humane and professional gesture of the DPO. I thought the Police were not as bad as many Nigerians paint them, after all. This gentle, empathetic DPO listened to us keenly and expressed his sympathy. He assigned us to an Investigating Police Officer and reiterated that “the case would be taken up”.

However, the actions of the IPO were devoid of an iota of compassion. In a rude manner, he asked a junior officer to attend to us while he left for several minutes.

After we were done writing statements, the IPO returned and asked us to go get a cab that would take us to the crime scene. When asked why he could not use one of the vehicles parked in the premises of the station, he retorted that we ask too many questions. “When you get a cab, let me know,” he said dismissively.

Eventually, the DPO returned from wherever he went and listened to our new complaint. He asked his driver to convey us in his private car.

The IPO and his subordinate were angry that we reported them to the DPO. In their defense, they argued that the vehicles in the station were not functioning.

They lamented how they have endured working in the Nigerian Police Force without adequate equipment.
“If I have money, I won’t let my children grow up and study in this country. Nigeria is finished,” one of them said as the driver navigated through the traffic congestion in Agbowo junction.

The officers asked us to take photographs of the broken doors and the ‘broken head’, print them and return them to the station whenever we like.

“God will be with you,” they prayed and made to leave.

“But, ehm… Officers, how can you help us track our phones and possibly get our ID cards,” my friend asked as I looked on in disbelief.

Officers of the Nigerian Police, who should protect me as a citizen, just submitted my matter to God. They also asked me to “thank God that the injuries were not severe”.


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