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Meet Nigeria’s incorruptible police officer, Julius Adedeji Adewale

The Nigerian Police Force is rarely in the news for good public service. Julius Adewale Adedeji, the Superintendent of Police, State Intelligence Bureau received the Human Rights Personality Award from the U.S. Embassy. Adedeji is said to have never taken a bribe, and he is being celebrated as Nigeria’s “most dedicated police officer”.

In the midst of bad apples, a good one sometimes can be found. Despite the rot in the Nigerian Police, Julius Adedeji Adewale is one of those identified to stand out. Adedeji who received a Human Rights Personality Award is the Superintendent of Police, State Intelligence Bureau.

In Nigeria, corruption is synonymous with the country’s Police Force. The Nigerian police was ranked as the worst police force in Africa last year by the World Internal Security and Police Index. It is normal to see a police officer on the streets taking bribes from public transport drivers.

Late last year, Nigerians took to Twitter to express their experiences with a branch of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) called the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The members of this branch of police have been accused of harassing young men especially, and marching them to ATM machines to withdraw sums of money.

Reading: Botswana has the best police force in Africa, Nigeria ranked the worst

In an interview with BBC, Adewale said, “I was just performing my duty. I didn’t know I was being watched.” Adewale has been celebrated as Nigeria’s “most dedicated police officer”.

In response to being asked if he’d been offered money by people who thought he was asking for a bribe, he said “Absolutely. And even today a person offered to give me some money and I said ‘no, no, no, no, why would you do that, I’m just doing my work.’ They were surprised.”

Read: #EndSARS: Nigerians recount their experiences with Special Anti-Robbery Squad

Adewale who’s keen on doing the right thing, however doesn’t report other colleagues that take bribes. He however cautions them to do the right thing. However, the Nigerian public has low level of confidence in the law enforcement institution. Many citizens are harassed daily, and victims of police brutality have included protesters of the Bring Back Our Girls movement. The Nigerian police has also been indicted for various extra-judicial killings and violation of human rights.

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