… report such officers for disciplinary action
By Kayode Sanni-Arewa
The Nigeria Police Force has called on citizens and residents to report police officers who check people's mobile phones to the authorities for disciplinary action, stressing that searching through people's phones is unprofessional.
The Force Public Relations Officer ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, made the call on Monday while reacting to a video of police officers searching through the phone of a passenger and commenting that he had been in service for 14 years but could not use same phone.
A user of X (formerly Twitter), @tadeosun074 had posted the video where a police officer was seen searching through the phone of a young male passenger. The officer could be heard saying in Pidgin language, “Me that has been working for over 13 years now, this year will make me 14 years in service, I have never had money to buy N250,000 phone, it is N15,000 phone I'm using.”
He then commanded the young man to bring out his bag from the commercial bus saying, “Go that way, come, carry your bag. I say carry your bag and come down!” before ordering another passenger to alight from the bus so he could observe the passenger's face properly.
Reacting to the post, the Force spokesperson said, “When you share items like this, do us good to mention location, if possible, date and time. It makes it easier to trace them. This info is scanty. So we need more info on this.”
Reacting to Adejobi's response, another X user, @KJexty, said that he was a victim of the same police practice at Okene road in Kogi State while he was travelling to Abuja and that he had to pay the sum of N100,000 to the police officers before he was let go.
The X user wrote, “Police are still doing this at Okpella, Edo state and Okene (Kogi state) road when traveling to Abuja. I was a victim here last week and I paid 100,000 just to free myself.”
The Force PRO then said, “We will continue to go after the erring policemen who are bent on tarnishing the image of the force. Checking people's phones on the road is not proper
“In fact, it's highly unprofessional. I am sure you know we have reacted and condemned it severally. So, report them to us, and we will take such cases up.”