Nigerians are used to seeing the inscription, “bail is free” on walls of police stations, but how true is this claim? People have on one occasion or the other been bailed from police custody. Did they part with money, whether guilty or innocent of the charges?
Encomium.ng spoke with Nigerians on their bail experiences in the hands of Nigerian police.
Here are their accounts…
Bail is never free in Nigeria. My neighbour’s son was accused of stealing a phone where he was learning fashion designing. I had to go to the Police station with the father to settle the whole thing and get him bailed. The boy denied knowing anything about the stolen phone.
The owner of the phone later withdrew the case the following day but the Police refused to bail the boy until we paid N5,000. Bail is not free in Nigeria.
Can one say bail is free in Nigeria? It’s just pasted on the walls in police stations, it’s not true. I have an experience to share: my brother during one Christmas time was arrested by the Policemen for blowing knock-out (banger).
He was just 15 years old then. I and my dad went to the Police station to bail him. The officer on duty told us bluntly that bail was not free. He told us to bring a guarantor and we also paid. I think we paid N5,000, I can’t really remember but I am quite sure we paid before bailing him. Aside the guarantor and payment, we went through a lot of stress.
Free? It’s not free and that is why even innocent youths are packed on the streets to the Police station. It’s because Police officers know that they won’t release anybody except the people paid for such persons’ bail. I am used to seeing them come to my street to arrest boys, especially when there is a little fight. By the time the boys are released, you will hear their parents lamenting how they paid N10,000 or even more just to bail a boy that had committed no offence.
Whoever says bail is free in Nigeria is only reciting a poem.
No way, is bail free? It’s not, it has never been and I doubt if it.will ever be. I could remember some years back when my brother and I were fighting, there was this girl that came to write exam in our place. She was squatting with a neighbor who is not on a good terms with my family.
As we were fighting, I threw a stick at my brother, but the stick hit the girl I was talking about instead. It hit her on the leg and she had a wound. Before I could say ‘Jack’, the girl’s host had called the police, and off we were to their station. After much pleading, they collected N3,000 from us before I was released.
Bail is never free. From my experience, Police must collect a minimum of N1000. When they detain someone, they may charge the family as much as N10,000 depending on the offence. Then they negotiate maybe through someone familiar with the Police. But there is no how they won’t collect money for bailable offence. No bail is free, especially if one is arrested by SARS. Those ones are worst. No bail is free in the country.
Who says bail is free? I want to know who said it because there was a time policemen were raiding my street at about 8 pm. You can imagine them raiding at a time most people will be returning from work. There was no light on that fateful day. They just started parking innocent boys on the street that day. The following day when we went to bail the boys, they told us to pay N50,000. We started pricing bail fee like rice. We were begging them with N20,000, and it was boldly written on the wall there that bail is free, yet we paid.
Bail is not free. I can recall a day like that, one of my friend’s brother (a yahoo boy) hit money. I didn’t know police are yahoo guys’ customers. They arrested him and asked him to settle them. We were not allowed to bail him until the boy himself agreed to give them N70,000. I didn’t how much the boy hit that made them collect such huge amount just to bail him. Bail is not free at all.
An average Nigerian knows that bail is not free in this part of the world. I was riding my bike one day, I crossed the road and before I knew it, the police were after me. When they caught up with me, all pleadings fell on deaf ears. They took me to their station where I explained to them that the bike is just for my personal use. They didn’t release me until I gave the N2,000 I had on me.
– Azeezat Kareem