The Nigeria Police Force has insisted that residents are permitted to first search an officer who is on has an official search warrant to search the home or car of such resident at any time. This is just after the Police announced that it is neither ideal nor professional for officers to search people’s phones without a complaint.
The Police made the disclosure during an engaging Twitter chat session tagged #AskThePolice with thousands of residents asking mind-boggling questions around the various illegalities committed by the Police operatives.
To ensure Mainlanders are well updated on the discussions during the chat, InsideMainland has picked 10 major talking points during the chat. The major takeouts in the sessions are as follows.
1. You must search an officer who wants to search your car or house
During the session, the Police Force insisted that “if an officer wants to search you in your house or car, he must first surrender himself for searching.” The body stated that this is the procedure and residents are urged to ask politely when faced with such situations.
The Police added that; “It is not ideal for a Police officer to take someone’s phone and start flipping through without any complaint. We discourage this and we are looking into it.”
3. The official duty of SARS
According to the Police, the official duty of the dreaded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) officers who have continued to terrorize Mainlanders is; “Summarily, to fight violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnappings and cattle rustling in the country.”
4. The Police has no right to check your account balance
Reacting to comments about Police officers following citizens to ATM points or requesting for bank account balances, the Police Force management stressed that the officers have no right whatsoever to do so. “No, if there is a crime committed that has to do with an individual or group bank account, the procedure is for letter of investigation sent to the bank for information on that account to be released. The bank’s order is always obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction,” the Police said during the engagement.
5. Obtaining a tinted permit is FREE!
According to the Police, obtaining a tinted permit is and can be obtained by application online. “Yes it is free. log online (npf.gov.ng), upload your vehicle particulars, and proceed to the nearest command for your printout,” the Police said.
6. Investigating officers often wear mufti
“Police in investigation departments for instance wear mufti. And as such use Police vests,” the Police said while responding to claims about its officers not wearing their official uniforms while on duty. The Police, however, said, “it is your right however in case you come across anyone in mufti, and in doubt, ask for their identity cards.”
8. Checking vehicle papers
The Police Force confirmed the legality of the actions of its officers in checking car papers while on duty. According to the Police, “yes, they have the right to check vehicle papers; not appropriate for officers to check phone without any complaint made.”
7. Why you can’t use your phone when arrested
Over the years, residents who are arrested as suspects by the Police are usually not allowed to use their phones at the stations. Speaking on this, the Police said; “most people record discussions illegally during investigations. To avert passing such information out not meant for public consumption, non-usage of phones is to avoid personal information that is vital towards a crime under investigation.
“Imagine a situation where a Police patrol team intercepts a suspect with ammunition, allowing him access to his phone would lead to him tipping his members off and they in turn will slip away from arrest.”
8. The Police checks erring officers
According to the Police, “the NPF has serious checks on its personnel and any erring policeman is meted with the commiserate punishment to the offense committed.”
The NPF noted that 32 SARS operatives were held in detention and are currently undergoing orderly room trial.
9. On election commitments
The Police said; “The NPF has supervised many elections in Nigeria, as such we keep improving on our strategies of making sure that no electoral crime is committed and bringing such offences to a minimal level. To this end, the IGP has always sort the assistance of the military and sister agencies.”
10. Bail is FREE!
Stressing the fact that bail is free, the Police said; “Bail is free and we maintain that in the NPF.” The Force however said “if anyone ask you for gratification, kindly contact the following: IGP X-SQUAD 0902 690 0729, 08078662130, 08174041000 – CALLS 0903 227 8905 – SMS 0903 562 1377 – whatsapp or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.”