The Police Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi has accused mischief makers of interpretating his tweet out of context.
Naija News recalls that while reacting on Saturday to a viral video where two men were seen wrestling with an armed officer, Adejobi had said “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. The disrespect is not to the policeman but to our nation and it’s a crime as enshrined in our criminal laws,” he added.
Adejobi advised Nigerians who have suffered police brutality to file a complaint with the law enforcement agency instead of taking laws into their hands.
“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.”
His statement was met with widespread backlash from Nigerians, with human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, calling for his sacking as Force PRO if he fails to apologise.
But in a statement on Monday evening, Muyiwa stated that he tweet warning citizens not to retaliate to an erring police officer was misrepresented in the media.
He stated that the police is committed to protecting the rights of citizens uniformed or not, urging the public to disregard malicious publications that read otherwise.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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.”
Speaking further, the Police spokesperson asked the public to desist from taking laws into their hands when in an unpleasant situation with a police officer.
He noted that the right channels complaints can be made to in a bid to have their rights protected.
Adejobi disclosed that 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,” he said.