° Reacts to attack on FPRO, Adejobi
A non-governmental organisation, Save life&Care Foundation (SLCF), has appealed to the media to stop causing problems between security agencies and the public.
At a press conference at his office in Apapa, Lagos, Founder, Save life & Care Foundation, Mr. Remy Ihuoma, made the appeal on the instance of the call by human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN,who gave the Police Force Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, 24 hours to withdraw the statement he made that ‘no Nigerian has the right to confront policemen or retaliate even if the policeman slaps him/her.
The FPRO was quoted as speaking through his Twitter account, if a policeman should slap a ‘civilian’, the person has no right to retaliate. 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.
Falana was quoted as saying that, “If the statement is not withdrawn within the next 24 hours, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, should not hesitate to replace Mr. Adejobi with another police officer, who has unqualified respect for the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people.”
But in a swift reaction, Ihuoma, said, Falana, a highly respected lawyer was only reacting to what the media which picked some potions of the statement made by the Force Public Relations Officer and removed other parts, said ,” Olumuyiwa Adejobi, is one of the finest police public relations officers ever produced by the Nigeria Police Force. His track records are there to see. We have started following him years back from his tenure as Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, to when he became the Lagos State PPRO, and now that he is FPRO. So far so good ,he has done excellently well without blemish. For the fact that he was misquoted by some mischievous media people who picked a potion of what he said,does not mean that Falana and others should call for his removal. For now, he is the face of the NPF,as many people, outside the country or in the diaspora are happy with his conduct.
” The media should understand that the police have spent collosal amount of money training and retraining PROs, and if the PRO makes a statement that they are not comfortable with, they should call the PRO for clearification. Why should Journalists rush to the press when they have access to the FPRO CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi? The press should always work hands in hands with security agencies, especially the police to move the country forward. It baffles me when people destroy other people’s image. For instance, Adejobi, did not just come out to speak,but he was reacting to the attack on policemen in Lagos, by civilians who tried to disarm a Policeman and even wrestled him to the ground. This is despicable and condemnable. No matter the provocation, a civilian should excecise restraint with a man armed with a riffle. If the police officer had not put his riffle in a safety catch, it would have fired and there would have been casualties. We thank God that no casualty was recorded.
” I was forced to make this briefing after I read what the FPRO really tweeted, the circumstances that made him to speak, and the reaction of the members of the public including our highly respected human rights crusader, Falana. I am appealing to our workaholic IGP Usman Akali Baba, not to change a winning team. Adejobi is doing wonderfully well. He is highly respected and following your footsteps in taking the Nigeria Police to a new level. Your anti corruption drive is what is frightening some unscrupulous people who are sponsoring some gullible media practioners, to go against their antics and start writing against a winning team without verification from the FPRO”.
However, FPRO has advised members of the public who have unwholesome encounters with the police to report to appropriate authority instead of taking laws into their hands .
CSP Adejobi,in a statement, gave the advice while reacting to a trending video where some individuals grievously assaulting a police officer, and attempting to disarm the officer by dragging his loaded AK47 rifle.
He restated the law on serious assault as enshrined on Section 356 (2) of the Criminal Code Act of Southern Nigeria with explanations.
He said that, however, some media platforms deliberately misquoted him as endorsing violence by uniformed officers against members of the public.
He explained, that,” Nigerian populace should not 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.
“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 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.
“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’ 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, is protected across board.