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Senior authorities of the Nigerian police force have once again asserted that its personnel have no right to check people’s phones arbitrarily without a warrant on the road.
Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi reiterated this during an appearance on Sunrise Daily which was monitored by Africa Daily News, New York.
‘Stop checking phones on the road. You can’t check somebody’s phone. It is his personal property. You cannot do it,’ Adejobi said of an activity which Nigerians have repeatedly accused policemen of doing.
The Force PRO was commenting on the activities of the police, recent disciplinary actions taken against some policemen for assaulting Nigerians, among other issues.
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When quizzed on if the police are taking steps to prevent more policemen from violating the rights of Nigerians, he said efforts were in place, stressing that in every organisation and society there will be deviants.
He said, ‘In the Police, we have those who are deviants. There is no policeman who doesn’t know that you must not dress improperly, you must not smoke while on duty, you must not slap the Nigerian, you must not use cutlass to flog.
‘There is no Nigerian police personnel who will tell me today that they are not aware because, in the training school, it’s part of our manual; they must have taught you all these things.’
Stressing that the police force operates based on laws, the police spokesman said the Force will continue to take necessary disciplinary actions against errant officers.
‘So, if a policeman has done something wrong, every offence — disciplinary offence or criminal offence — has its punishment. If it is reduction in rank, we give it to you; if it is dismissal, we give to you; if it is severe reprimand, we give to you
‘But it is clear, how can a policeman stand on the road and be collecting money? It is not a disciplinary offence, it is a criminal offence. Corruption is a criminal offence. If you flog somebody, you assault somebody, it is a criminal offence,’ CSP Adejobi opined.
Many Nigerians have continued to call out members of the police force over allegations of arbitrarily searching people on the road.