Twitter on Mobile to the Rescue: Kunle Bello and Others "Kidnapped" by Sabo Police

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In our internet-connected world of mobile devices, it is important to take a critical look at very valid reasons why an investment in always-on anywhere, everywhere connectivity is important. Have you thought of issues of your personal safety?

Kunle Bello also known Kaboom, was a member of the popular group, Trybesmen. Yesterday, he began to tweet about having been picked up by men of the Nigeria Police (Sabo Division in Lagos), who went around stopping and picking up people at random and incarcerating them. No offences committed. No charges filed.

Kaboom

Thanks to mobile technology and social media, he has been able to publish accounts of his ordeal in the hands of the Police. Here is a tweet from his timeline:

Here’s another Twitter update:

The whole account has been put together by Seyi Taylor on Storify, so everyone can follow easilly here: Kunle Bello and Others “Kidnapped” by Sabo Police.

This is an example of how being connected on mobile can help save lives. In the jungle called Nigeria, people do not have to just disappear or be unjustly treated without help anymore.

Action Required

If you have an email address, please email the Inspector General of Police on this address: policemonitor@npf.gov.ng. He personally monitors that address. Raise the case of Mr. Kunle Bello and others in that mail. Include the Storify link above too. Should you have any other human rights contacts, please forward this story to them.

We want the innocent individuals picked up freed. We want the involved officers investigated and punished if found guilty. This sort of nonsense must stop. Every citizen has the right to move about without fear of harassment. A case where Police officers randomly stop and arrest people on the streets is not acceptable. It is Kunle Bello yesterday. It could be you or a family member tomorrow. Act now.

This is an example of how we can use the power of mobile and social media to actually do something worth the while. Thank you for your involvement. Meanwhile, get a connected mobile. get on social media. You never know when being always on, anywhere, will come in handy.

7 comments

  1. the interesting thing is that, the policemen generally seize your phone from you once you are arrested.

    I have been picked up like this once -since I came to Lagos in 1988. just once.

    before that occurence, it never occurred to me I could be picked up just like that! I felt you can always tell a riff raff from their dressing, speec, movement and general comportment. A policeman being trained to spot the bad uns, would know this, I reasoned!!

    How wrong!.

    One great use of mobile tech is its GPS function, that makes it possible for people to know where you are at any point in time.

    these uniformed peoples` excesses really need to be nipped in the bud!

  2. It’s already happened to family and friends and there was no Twitter. You’ll have to excuse my lack of sympathy here, but the Kunle Bellos have Twitter etc where the average person doesn’t have anyone to record their story.

    I am more concerned that, in the run-up to Christmas, the police will come out in force to harass drivers and anyone else present with their fake and plentiful roadblocks with threats to arrest and extort money.

  3. indeed we must respond by talking, writing etc Thats the only way they will know we know they are corrupt and wrong

  4. Been there before. Some time around 1996. Was right in front of my house, about crossing the Street to get panadol for popsie, this police officer just pulled over in a danfo bus and pointed his gun straight at me, ordered me into the bus. Thank God mumsie saw it and quickly called everyone, running after the bus. They took me to the ejigbo police station and was demanding money from my parents for my release.
    I had no smartphone then for location reporting like I do now. A lot of people would say don’t give out your location to Google, privacy intrusion. However, it does more good for your loved ones to know where you are than for the data value to Google.

  5. @Belushi *shocked expression*. Was once picked up by the Police Force. I was erm…canoodling under the streetlight in Lagos one pleasant Saturday and a police van stopped in front of a startled coouple and threw us in (please don’t laugh, was mortified on an omega level). Suffice to say we both landed in a prison box; had no money on me to pay em/wasnt with my atm card (was much younger then). Was stripped off our shoes, belt, phones. Momma started calling and the officer told her

    “Pls come to the station to identify your son”

    Dumb move from a dumb cop. Mom thought she was coming to Identify a corpse and went beserk on the phone line. Eventually came in with pop looking like she had aged 20yrs and pop barely holding it together. They must have been relieved to see me alive and shoeless (Pres Jonathan anyone? *rme*).

    They “bailed” me n the chic out after about 6hrs in a cell. Oh! The lectures I received at home that day *sighs*

  6. I was in KAULA LUMPOR some few days ago. Imagine me a blackman,walking freely in the streets at 2am when I couldn’t find sleep. There were no area boys to harassment me, no police to arrest me for wandering. The only people that came to me were those asking that I should come eat at their “restoran” or if I needed s*x.
    I cry for my country and what corruption has done and is still doing to us.
    Christmas is coming, so expect more of these harassment.

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