Phones are the personal property of their owners and must not be searched by police officers, Nigerian Police Force said on Tuesday.
Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi stated this during an appearance on Sunrise Daily, reiterating that personnel have no right to check people’s phones arbitrarily on the road.
He, therefore, called on officers to “stop checking phones on the road.”
“You can’t check somebody’s phone. It is his personal property. You cannot do it,” Adejobi said.
There have been concerns over policemen’s indulgence in arbitrary search of people’s phones.
The Force PRO, while commenting on the recent disciplinary actions taken against some policemen for assaulting Nigerians, among other issues, cautioned officers to desist from such activities that bring disrepute to the NPF.
On what police are doing to prevent policemen from violating the rights of Nigerians, he said the Force was making efforts to stop such.
CSP Adejobi said, “In the Police, we have those who are deviants. There is no policeman who doesn’t know that you must not dress improperly, you must not smoke while on duty, you must not slap the Nigerian, and you must not use cutlass to flog.
“There is no Nigerian police personnel who will tell me today that they are not aware because, in the training school, it’s part of our manual; they must have taught you all these things.”
He stressed that the police force operates based on laws, the police spokesman said the Force will continue to take necessary disciplinary actions against errant officers.
“So, if a policeman has done something wrong, every offence — disciplinary offence or criminal offence — has its punishment. If it is a reduction in rank, we give it to you; if it is dismissal, we give it to you; if it is severe reprimand, we give it to you…
“But it is clear, how can a policeman stand on the road and be collecting money? It is not a disciplinary offence, it is a criminal offence. Corruption is a criminal offence. If you flog somebody, you assault somebody, it is a criminal offence,” he added.