Man, 95 Dogs in Police custody for overload offence

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By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
The Police in Minna, Niger State have arrested a middle aged man, Wilson Bolade for transporting 95 dogs in a twelve seaters, Sharon Space Wagon minibus.
Wilson Bolade, an Edo based licensed dog dealer was on transit at the Minna Mobil Round-About Terminus with his cargo of dogs on his way to Edo State when he was accosted by a Police Sergeant on foot patrol at night around 2:00am on Sunday.
Seeing such large haul of dogs in the vehicle, the Police man rose to action and demanded to know the owner and the destination of the cargo.
All explanations by Wilson including his proof of being a licensed dog dealer met with deaf ears of the law officer who insisted to be ‘settled’ or he drag his catch to the station for prosecution.
 
Wilson had also told the Policeman that the fear of the activities of night marauders on the highway had forced him and his co travellers to stay the night at the terminus so that at dawn, they would set out on their journey with his cargo.
 
But the Policeman, (names withheld) refused to let the dogs and the owner be insisting they were under arrest and must pay to be let off the hook.
An offer of 500 naira was rejected. Even when Wilson and his co travellers raised the amount to 1000 naira, the amount was considered grossly inadequate by the law enforcement officer who insisted to be given 5000 naira or Wilson and his cargoes be taken into detention.
 
But since the amount demanded was not sourced, the Policeman seized the vehicle along with its animal cargo and drove to the the Central Police Station along stadium road in the heart of the town to report his strange catch at 2:30 on Sunday morning.
 
At day break, the sight of a vehicle loaded with 95 dogs was not a common sight to be ignored by passerby, no thanks to the fact that the Police Station is located on popular busy road.
 
Barking and snarling from the dogs at the Police station soon helped in attracting more onlookers even as the Police quickly raised charges against Wilson for animal cruelty.
 
Did i hear anyone say the Police are working? Indeed they are working even if they are not stopping criminality in nooks and crannies. They shouldn’t allow our dogs to be sandwiched and mangled into a small vehicle for no crime they have committed. Good talk!
 
Wilson told our correspondent that he has been in the business of buying dogs from different parts of the country and transporting them to other states for resell as his trade in stock and that he had never been accosted by law enforcement agents for animal cruelty.
 
He wondered why the Police in Minna would stand on his way simply because he could not meet up with the demand of 1000 naira. He said the charge against him was rather curious and mind bugging.
 
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Niger State Command, Bala Elkanah confirmed the incident. He said the Dog owner committed offence punishable by law of the land which prohibits anybody to carry large number of animals in a small car. Good talk again!
 
The Police are rising to their duties to check against abuse but of animals’ rights. It doesn’t matter even if they look the other way where human rights are negated and trampled upon by them or any other person.
 
Curious enough, the PPRO insisted that the suspect had abused the rights of the animals he was travelling to Edo state with by cramming and compressing them into the space wagon. But many times the Police are probably at sleep when commercial bus drivers pilled up commuters in their vehicles to maximize profits.
 
“Wilson Bolade was arrested for carrying 95 Dogs in a small Sharon Space Wagon. The offence he committed is cruelty to animals under the penal code” he argued to give credence to the action of the Police Sergeant who did the arrest.
 
But the question being asked by many is; if Wilson was able to raise the amount demanded by the Police Officer on patrol, would the issue of animal cruelty be heard?
 
Disturbing enough since their “arrest”, some of arrested dogs are beginning to die of hunger, exhaustion and poor ventilation from custody inside the vehicle.
 
Our correspondent recalled that years ago, a Lorry full of Donkeys that was headed to the Eastern parts of the country was arrested by the Police and brought to the Tudun Wada Police station.
 
For days, the animals languished inside the Lorry and as some of them faced starvation and begun to die, the Police flung open the carriage doors of the vehicle to allow the animals graze around the bushes behind the station.
Soon the animals veered off to surrounding areas and communities and were soon taken over by interested persons while nothing was heard of the owner who said he bought the animals from a market in one of the states in the far north of the country.

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