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As reactions trail the trending video where some civilians in Lagos State were seen assaulting policemen in uniform, the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, restated the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to respecting human rights, this was as he noted that the Force did not condone indiscipline.
Adejobi noted that it had become pertinent to emphasise that the NPF had been a vanguard of sustainable democracy in the country via the aggressive protection of the fundamental rights of the citizens and other members of the Nigerian society.
“This has been evident in the continuous sanctions meted out by the police authority on officers engaged in violation of individual rights, as well as extant laws when reported via any of the available police complaint channels.
“The Force Public Relations Officer reacted to a trending video where some individuals grievously assaulting a police officer, and attempting to disarm the officer by dragging his loaded AK47 rifle, restated the law on serious assault as enshrined on Section 356 (2) of the Criminal Code Act of Southern Nigeria with explanations. However, some media platforms deliberately misquoted it as endorsing violence by uniformed officers against members of the public,” he said.
The police spokesperson noted that where a public officer acted contrary to the provisions of extant laws, there were channels to report such conduct to get prompt justice, particularly in the NPF. This was has he stated that a part of his tweet concerning the incident was misrepresented.
“In the extant case, the individuals resorted to self-help and assaulted the officers, attempted to snatch the officers’ firearm, and in so doing breached the law. It is trite that two wrongs cannot make a right, as such, whatever the provocation, the action of the individuals were wrong in all ramifications as they would have reported the matter for prompt action. Emphasis on this has clearly been misrepresented across media platforms as a single tweet in a thread was mischievously read out of context with a mischievous caption “No Nigerian Has the Right to Retaliate when Police Slaps You…,”
The Force, however, urged the Nigerian populace not to take laws into their hands whenever they had unpleasant encounters with police officers, adding that complaints arising from such encounters could be reported via the PPROs of the various Commands, the Complaint Response Unit, and via official police accounts across social media platforms.
Adejobi said, “The Force urges well-meaning members of the public, all of whom are strategic stakeholders in policing across the country to disregard the malicious publications as the current police administration is committed to ensuring that the rights of all citizens, uniformed or not, is protected across board.
“Similarly, the idea of pouncing on and beating up law enforcement agents carrying out their public duty by members of the public whom they serve, is criminal and disrespectful to our beloved nation, Nigeria, and must not be allowed to exacerbate.”