The Hunter Still the Hunted
Friday Igbinoba, the police inspector who incurred the wrath of his employers for exposing oil bunkerers nearly two years ago, is still in a limbo
Justice is still miles away from Friday Igbinoba, the police inspector who faced persecution for rejecting bribe and exposing those who accepted it. His undoing had been his decision to expose an oil bunkering syndicate. But rather than get commendation for that, he was rewarded with condemnation and threatened with dismissal. To avoid the latter, he requested to be allowed to go on retirement. But two years down the line, the inspector is still unsure of his fate in the force. This is because he has neither received approval for his request to proceed on retirement nor given an office to continue his work as a police officer. He is in a limbo.
It is this stalemate in his life that prompted him to write two letters to the presidency. One was addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan and the other to Namadi Sambo, vice-president. In the letters, he pleaded with both men to intervene in the matter as his previous efforts to get redress through the police authorities have not gone beyond a reply he got from them that his case was still being investigated. “I have written to the inspector general of police, the police service commission and minister of police affairs about a year and six months ago. The only reply I got was that the case was still under investigation,” Igbinoba said.
He appealed to the presidency to wade into the matter and ensure that justice is done to him. He said it was those who benefit from the corrupt police system that have vowed to frustrate his effort at getting justice and they seemed to be succeeding. He urged them to stop the unjust from getting their way.
Igbinoba’s trouble started in 2007, when as the leader of his highway patrol team in the Ogun State police command, he foiled a criminal activity along the Ijebu Ode-Sagamu expressway where he arrested six trucks being driven against traffic in the wee hours of the day. On close examination, he discovered that the occupants were oil bunkerers. His attempts to ensure that the offenders pay for their crime hit the brick wall as the tankers and the bunkerers were all released after money changed hands. In frustration, he went to a television station with the allegation after failing to get help within the police system. That action he took is now his undoing. The hunter has become the hunted.