By Ibebe Rufus Akpobome
Information as published on the Vanguard Online medium as attached to this publication states that the man (videographer) behind the video of the boy that was alleged to have been killed by the men of the NPF, Prince Nicholas Makolomi, was arrested on Monday at an undisclosed location in Ughelli by the crack detectives who it was gathered trailed him to his Ughelli residence.
According to the Vanguard report, a “source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “The suspect will be charged to court on allegations of inciting violence, false information and other criminal charges in relation to the cybercriminal laws”.
May I as an individual state that, even if some elements of the REPORTAGE was false using the statement that he has been “killed” as said in the report as an example, the VIDEO OBVIOUSLY, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, HELPED IN SAVING THE LIFE OF THE YOUNG MAN and was perhaps made in a haste by the reporter with an INTENTION TO DRAW THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD TOWARDS WHAT HE PERCEIVED AS POLICE BRUTALITY AND ABNORMALITY and not necessarily with the intention to damage the image of the Nigeria Police Force.
While the reporter should and must be blame for not getting his facts right by comfirming wether or not the young man was dead and if actually the Police was responsible for his death as alleged by him in the report, he should be commended for his boldness and willingness to render help by exposing what he perceived as an injustice in the society.
Although it’s now obvious that the man is not dead as alleged, it can be established that he could probably have died if not for the quick and quality medical attention he received; an act that was undoubtedly, made possible, through the video that went viral. This, I believe is a positive side of the video that should be celeberated. I would simply say, the life of the young man was probably saved through an effort of a report that was made by a videographer that turned out to have some elements of false in it.
In the light of the above, as an individual, I would humbly wish to plead, that the NPF, should tender justice with mercy by not pressing or drop any charges that they might have press against the videographer in court and rather than prosecute him, caution him to be more careful in his reportage in the future by verifying his information before spreading them. He should be told that on no account henceforth, should he feed mmbers of the general public, with information that he has not completely verify. This I think would save the NPF the embarrassment, litigations and possible condemnations that may arise should they decide to further detain or prosecute the videographer; an act that the average Nigerian would consider as witch hunting of the videographer for speaking up against the NPF.
Taking this man to court by the Nigeria Police Force, would MAKE HIM A HERO as Nigerians would stand by him for he, UNDOUBTEDLY SAVED A NIGERIAN THAT COULD HAVE DIED.
Should the court convict him, HE WOULD BE HAILED AND CONSIDERED AS AN OPPRESSED VICTIM OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE AND NIGERIA JUDICIARY as many Nigerians would not agree that truly, he committed a crime by not verifying his information before sharing them to the general public.
Like I pleaded above, he should be caution and release without any form of further detention or pressing of charges against him in court. You may call it granting him amnesty if you wish but that is the best thing that the NPF should do to avert problems for not doing their job well in the first place.
Moving forward, the NPF, should ensure that their men are well trained to enable them become more smart, vibrant and vigilant enough to prevent their arrested suspects from jumping (as they said) from any vehicle. They must be trained on how to secure and safe guard the lives of their suspects before, during and after arresting them as the life of every Nigerian is precious and must be protected. Act of this nature ( where arrested suspect jump from moving vechicle) under the watch of men of the NPF, I must say, would continue to dent their image if allowed to continue.
That a suspect, jumped out of a moving vehicle, under the very watch of the NPF is not ONLY SHAMEFUL, UNPROFESSIONAL but equally CONDEMABLE and UNDESERVING of a force on whose shoulder lies the responsibilities of protecting our lives and properties as Nigerians and funded by our collective money.
If the police is our friends, as I believe they are, then they should please listen to this plead of mine and act according to it.
I believe that if if this plead if accepted, it would save this nation from unnecessary litigations and protests that Nigerians may embark upon to demand for the release of the videographer whom many now see as a hero that the NPF wishes to witch-hunt.
All I want is a better African society hence I am dedicated to speaking on issues that concern her. Good bless the NPF and Africa.
I am Comrade Ibebe Rufus Akpobome
Director General, Youth Emancipation Movement of Africa. Am an advocate for a better African society, I write from Ughelli Delta State.