The Nigeria Police Force has asked Nigerians to report any erring policeman who forcefully collects or searches their phones.
The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi made this disclosure on his X page on page on Wednesday, noting that it was not proper or professional for an officer to forcefully collect and search phones or electronic equipment.
Adejobi asserted that any policeman who searches the phone on the road is deviant, violates the order of the IGP and such an officer would be sanctioned.
He wrote; “Report any policeman who forcefully collects and searches your phones or electronic equipment. It’s not proper, not professional.
“They can only scrutinise your phone when such is subject to an investigation and already marked exhibit, and such is not done on the road. So, any policeman who searches the phone on the road is deviant and violates the order of the IGP and negates our SOP. He should be sanctioned,” he added.
Report any policeman who forcefully collects and searches your phones or electronic equipment. It's not proper, not professional. They can only scrutinise your phone when such is subject to an investigation and already marked exhibit, and such is not done on the road. So, any… https://t.co/sAba3SDaKj
— Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi (@Princemoye1) November 8, 2023
In October 2020 in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest, the then Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu also banned personnel of the police from indiscriminately browsing through mobile phones and laptops belonging to members of the public.
“All Tactical Squads must also desist from the invasion of the privacy of citizens, particularly through an indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices,” Adamu had said in a statement.
Often tagged “stop and search”, hundreds of Nigerian youths have fallen victim to extortion. Many have been forced to make self-indicting statements by personnel of the Nigeria Police. The police usually tagged them as fraudsters even if it was only a crypto-currency application that was found inside their phone.
Such illegal demands by police personnel to check the mobile phones and laptops of members of the Nigerian public have led to extrajudicial killings, extortions, illegal arrests and harassment.