Just like his soft tempo songs, popular singer, Praiz, is known to be a very easy going person, so it came as a rude shock to many of his fans when it was reported that he was picked up by men of the Nigeria Police.
Although the singer has since been released, his arrest further fuelled the ongoing #EndSARS campaign. The singer has yet to break his silence on the incident, especially after the police had said Praiz’ vehicle was on top speed and he was asked to pull over because of that.
Saturday Beats reached out to the singer’s manager, Wale Bello, but he claimed the policemen stopped the singer because they thought he was a Yahoo boy.
Bello said, “Praiz was on his way to Eleko Beach, Ajah. He was inside an Uber ride and they passed the police but you know the way they go about raiding boys. Praiz spots a beard, he was wearing a fez cap and a big gold chain that day. They saw a young man in the car with a beard, fez cap and a gold chain and probably thought he was a Yahoo boy. So they got into their vehicle and started chasing the car. When they caught up with Praiz’s driver, they pulled over in front of his vehicle just like in the movies, they came out of their police car, cocked their guns and threatened to shoot. Since Praiz was playing with his phone before the incident and he was not expecting anyone to chase him with guns, he simply began to record the scenario.
“He asked the policemen to identify themselves if they were men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad or normal policemen. Then one of the policemen began to yell, ‘he is even recording us, he is one of them.’ He said that Praiz was being mischievous and he was being used by enemies of the Nigeria Police to discredit them. At that point, Praiz introduced himself as an artiste . One of them recognised him but the other two refused to listen and insisted that they must take him to the police station. At that point, Praiz did not know if they were policemen or SARS men. While they were taking him to the police station, he called us; I was at the beach already and it was from there we started making calls. When he got to the station, they seized his iPhone 7.
“By the time we got there, a police officer, Aley Giwa, had already sorted the issue. There was also another senior police officer, Etim Godwin, who was very courteous to us, at Ajah Police station. When we got there, Godwin acted like a truly professional police officer who knew what he was doing. After he heard what transpired, he simply told Praiz to sign a document and leave but the three officers that took him to the police station were obviously angry that he was set free. At this point, I was also at the police station and I witnessed everything. Those three policemen were reluctant to let Praiz go. They were very bitter and said that they should have been allowed to teach Praiz a lesson.”