September 19, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Monday clarified the assertion of its spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on a trending video, which showed two civilians assaulting and trying to disarm a uniformed policeman in Lagos State.
In a series of random tweets, Adejobi condemned the video, the second viral case of physical assault on security officers in the state.
Reacting to the incident, he had reportedly said, “If a policeman in uniform slaps a civilian, the civilian has no right to retaliate.”
He had added that assaulting a police officer in uniform was tantamount to disrespecting the Nigeria Police Force and the country as a whole.
However, responding to public reaction to the tweet, the Police authority has issued a statement, accusing media platforms (not THEWILL) of “deliberately misquoting the tweet as endorsing violence by uniformed officers against members of the public”.
The statement, which was also signed by the Adejobi, read partly, “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 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 the board”.
Meanwhile, the police noted that 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 force.
“This has been evidential 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 statement said.
The Police thereafter urged Nigerian 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,” the statement added.