“There should be no relationship between a Science Student and an Arts Student, the only thing that holds you together is just two subjects, English Language and Mathematics. You should not associate with them or have anything to do with them. Don’t ever go to their class …”
The above statement is credited to my Chemistry Teacher in secondary School. My Chemistry Teacher, let us call him Uncle P (we called our teachers uncles and aunties), was a young man pushed into the very difficult task of teaching by the country’s number one killer of dreams; unemployment (teaching is not an easy task for those who it’s not their passion).
For Uncle P, unemployment and its accompanying frustration with a good dose of religious fanaticism made him a disaster, but he was unleashed on young minds like us and he did wreck havoc on many of my high school folks.
To Uncle P, Pure Science students were smart while their counterparts in the Arts and Social Sciences were brainless. To him, the brainless Arts’ students could transform into a genius if they were brave enough to leave the Arts class for the Pure Sciences. Then he adds, “just have faith and you will understand and pass your science subjects” (are you kidding me!).
Incredible, but that was one of the horrors of my post primary education. We lacked Career Counsellors and thus nearly everyone wanted to be a medical doctor or lawyer, but thanks to JAMB another killer of dreams, other disciplines got their own share of the pie.
What we were never told in the University or the Law School should have been a modified version of Uncle P’s statement;
“There can never be any friendship between a Nigerian policeman or woman and a lawyer”.
You are at best sworn enemies. No policeman or woman likes lawyers. They relate with you because they have to. A lawyer is every policeman’s nemesis and spoiler. Even policemen who are lawyers hate you and would not hesitate to show you where their loyalty and camaraderie lies.
Never trust the police. Yeah! You heard right! Hold your ears and say it to yourself “never trust the police”.
The police in other parts of the world will read the Miranda rights to a suspect to include “the right to an attorney but where the suspect cannot afford one, the provision of one by the state”.
I have never heard from a client that the police complied with even reading them their rights to remain silent. First they seize suspects and ensure the client gets no access to their lawyers. Then the suspect is brought under severe pressure with allegations of all imaginable crimes and threats of detention for a long time unless the suspect can pay a huge sum.
Well I usually make my appearance after the suspect has agreed to the huge sum (yea! It’s one coincidence too many). At such appearance, you will know how much hatred policemen have for lawyers. Your appearance as innocent as it seems have taken away the meal ticket. You have literally rescued their maga.
Won’t bore you with the usual hostility from the junior officers, you can read that in my earlier piece “Warning to Rookies; Naija Police Bail is not Free 1″
Below is a quick guide on how to deal with the Police:
1. As a new wig, never trust a policeman or woman when they give you guarantees or make promises. No policeman is honest. Yea, there might be an exception to this but then the exception goes to prove the general rule.
2. Do not be hostile but show no signs of fear or weakness when dealing with them. Police may hate you more for being very fierce and aggressive but then they won’t love you either if you are calm and gentle. They will take advantage of you.
3. Aggression and fierceness though recommended (but should be sparingly used) scares the shit outta the police. The police station is where people are broken down and feel it’s the end of the world, so a lawyer barking and raising hell in a station with junior officers cowering is a sight policemen avoid like hell. It destroys their perceived invisibility. But like I said, use same sparingly and know when to stop otherwise, the police could arrest you for “conduct likely to cause breach of peace”.
4. Be smart. Play on the junior officers’ intelligence. The junior officers most times are not the recipients of the “bail money” but senior officers. Promise them something after you have secured the release of your client. They will quickly run around with the little you can offer for bail to the sum demanded, with the hope that they will receive extra money which the seniors won’t be part of (will tell you a funny story on this point later on).
5. Dangle some cash or promise of cash. Forget hierarchy, the police worship cash and their desperation makes them easy magas. Dangle a carrot or two to some officers if you meet a group that is hostile, that will break their solidarity. In fact you need not make the offer, one of the officers will approach you to help with his colleagues.
He will promise to help you get in touch with the superior who is not in the office, he will ask for N100 to buy recharge card. Give him N500 and watch how his countenance changes. He will work against his colleagues for more and usually without demanding for any cash first. Well after, he helps you secure the release of your client, what do you do?
Give him something for “helping” you release your client they ought not to have arrested in the first place by collecting say N5, 000 instead of the N50, 000 they had asked for initially? You must be joking!