It was like the usual horrifying and oppressive experience suffered by motorists, motorcycle and tricycle riders in the hands of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force until members of Edo Civil Society Organisations changed the narrative recently.
It was on Thursday 14th October, 2021 that a tricycle rider, Mr. Victor Asuquo was plying Etete road in the GRA area of Benin City when some police officers on checkpoint stopped him to demand for his rider’s permit. His inability to present it led to the seizure and detention of his tricycle in Etete police station till the next day upon which it was released due to the intervention of some members of Edo Civil Society Organisations.
On Friday the 15th of October, 2021 which was the next day, Mr. Victor Asuquo was on same road when same detachment of police officers stopped him again to demand for same rider’s permit which he offered explanations as to what transpired a previous day. All entreaties by Mr. Asuquo fell on deaf ears as they took the tricycle once again to the police station for another round of detention.
Mr. Asuquo who was now distressed as his only means of livelihood has been taken away from him again approached the Interim TEC Chairman of Edo Civil Society Organisations, Bishop Osadolor Ochei who constitute a team to look into the matter and take appropriate steps to see to the release of the tricycle.
The team swung into action by first analysing the situation painstakingly and interrogating the powers of the police to demand for rider’s permit and subsequent detention of the tricycle. Having duly analysed the situation and concluded that no criminal offence had been preferred against the rider, they took necessary steps.
A visit was paid to the police station to demand for the release of the tricycle and payment for the loss of income to the rider. It was clear the police couldn’t provide the constitutional powers donated to them to be demanding for rider’s permit and to detaining the tricycle. The Divisional Police Officer having been made to know the implications of the infractions done by her men, she resorted to resolution but the activists wouldn’t hear of it without a compensation for the detention of the tricycle which has led to loss of income to the rider.
The DPO promised to make up the loss of income for the tricycle rider on Monday the 18th day of October, 2021. On said day, the sum of N20, 000 was handed to the tricycle rider for loss of income for the period his tricycle was detained in the station illegally.
It must be sounded loud and clear that, there is no more room for police oppression, intimidation and extortion in Edo state as long as Edo Civil Society Organisations which is ably led by Bishop Osadolor Ochei as the Interim TEC Chairman exists.
This is victory for all Edo people. Knowing your rights and pursuing same is the sweetest thing to be experienced.
EDOCSO promotes good governance, social justice and human rights.
Leftist Aliyu Umweni
Interim Public Relations Officer
Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO)

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