Nigerians have no rights to retaliate if assaulted by policemen: Spokesman

Force Spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi has warned citizens against assaulting Nigeria Police personnel on duty even if the latter is the aggressor. He said policemen are always protected against attacks by law.

“Even if a policeman on uniform slaps a civilian, the civilian has no right to retaliate. More so, if he’s on uniform, it’s an act of disrespect to Nigeria to beat an officer on uniform,” Mr Adejobi said. “The disrespect is not to the policeman but to our nation and it’s a crime as enshrined in our criminal laws.”

The police spokesman made this assertion in a series of tweets on Saturday reacting to a viral video showing two men wrestling down a gun-wielding police officer in a heated argument.

He further said “so, it’s not a case of what the policeman did that led to it, but the reaction of the civilians who actually assaulted the police. If police assault a civilian, you report and actions will be taken to rebuke him, not to take the law into your hands.”

This comes weeks after musician Ice Prince Zamani was arrested and charged to court over allegations of abducting a police officer.

Prolonged years of police brutality characterised by extortion, and extrajudicial killings by rogue police departments like the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad sparked a nationwide #EndSARS protest in October 2020.

Championed by young Nigerians, the protest led to scrapping of the murderous SARS unit, while authorities promised sweeping reform of the law enforcement body. 

Nonetheless, reports of police highhandedness continue to persist. Mass resentment and resistance have are on the upswing as a result.

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