The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) does not permit the violation of rights by police officers nor indiscipline, the force’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Muyiwa Adejobi said this on Monday while trying to clarify his statement about assault on police officers.
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that Adejobi had in a tweet on Saturday, said, “Even if a policeman on uniform slaps a civilian, the civilian has no right to retaliate more so if he’s on the uniform, it’s an act of disrespect to Nigeria, to beat an officer on uniform, the disrespect is not to the policeman but to our nation and it’s a crime as enshrined in our criminal laws.”
‘We do not permit indiscipline, violation of human rights’ – Adejobi
Adejobi via a statement obtained by BizWatch Nigeria said that his tweet was misunderstood.
Read the full statement below:
WE DON’T CONDONE INDISCIPLINE, VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS – FPRO
As Police Reacts to Lagos Trending video of civilians assaulting Policemen in Uniform
It has become pertinent to emphasize that the Nigeria Police Force has 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 assaulted a police officer, and attempted to disarm the officer by dragging his loaded AK47 rifle, restating the law on serious assault as enshrined in 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.
Where a public officer acts contrary to the provisions of extant laws, there are channels to report such conduct and get prompt justice, particularly in the Nigeria Police Force.
In the extant case, the individuals resorted to self-help and assaulted the officers, attempted to snatch the officers’ firearms, 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 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 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, are protected across board.
Furthermore, the Force urges the Nigerian populace not to take laws into their hands whenever they have unpleasant encounters with police officers.
Complaints arising from such encounters can be reported via the Police Public Relations Officers (PPROs) of the various Commands, the Complaint Response Unit (CRU) and via official Police accounts across social media platforms.
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.
Violation of human rights attracts a 25year prison sentence
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that Femi Falana, a human rights attorney and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) criticized Adejobi for his remarks on how Nigerians should react when assaulted by a police officer.
Falana said that because citizens are entitled to fundamental rights, assaulting a Nigerian would result in a 25-year prison sentence.
Falana asserted that police officers and other law enforcement officials are forbidden from “subjecting Nigerian people, including criminal suspects, to degrading, humiliating, or cruel treatment,” citing the Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and the Police Establishment Act, respectively.
“By virtue of section 34 of the Nigerian Constitution, every citizen is entitled to the fundamental right to the dignity of their person.
“Accordingly, no citizen shall be subjected to any mental, physical or psychological torture,” he said.
“Indeed, section (2)(b) of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 states that torture is deemed committed when an act by which pain and suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person to punish him for an act he or a third person has committed or suspected of having committed.
“The penalty for assaulting a civilian is 25 years under the Anti Torture Act of 2017.
“In addition, the victim may sue for monetary compensation under the Anti Torture Act and the Constitution.
“Civilians are required to respect police officers who are discharging their lawful duties.
“The penalty for assaulting or slapping a police officer is 3 years imprisonment under the Criminal Code. In the same vein, police officers are equally mandated to respect civilians.”