Lagos Commissioner of Police Asserts Citizens’ Rights: No Officer Authorized to Physically Assault or Conduct Unauthorized Phone Searches

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Nigerians, particularly those residing in Lagos State, have once again received a reminder to be well-informed about their rights concerning police activities and the law. It has been emphasized that no police officer or personnel has the right to physically assault a civilian or conduct a phone search without a valid reason. This advisory comes in the wake of previous instances where citizens, unarmed and innocent, have fallen victim to police brutality despite being encouraged to assert their rights.

The DEFENDER notes that this call for awareness is not unprecedented, as Nigeria’s foremost security agency has previously urged the public to assert their rights against heavily armed security agents, only for citizens to still experience police brutality.

In a seemingly determined effort to enforce these rights, the Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, CP Fayoade Adegoke, declared this stance during a recent visit to the newly established radio station, Melody FM 107.7FM, located in the Iyana-Ipaja area within his operational jurisdiction. This announcement took place on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.

During the visit, the state police chief commended Melody FM for its dedication to disseminating accurate information to the public. Subsequently, he participated in the station’s night program hosted by the seasoned broadcaster, Otunba Yemi Odunodu, also known as Mimi Aye.

In the interview conducted in Yoruba for effective communication, CP Fayoade Adegoke shared essential insights with Nigerians regarding their rights and relationships with officers and personnel of the police force. The commissioner’s emphasis on citizens’ awareness and rights underscores a concerted effort to curb instances of police misconduct and uphold the rule of law.

“No policeman has the right to beat citizen. You citizens are our boss, the government pay us through your tax. So, we must accord you the necessary respect.

“On the issue of searching phone, no policeman has the right to search your phone. If a police man suspect anything on your phone, he would take you to the station to search the phone, we have a cyber department that deals with all that,” he said.

While on bail, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State emphasized the fundamental principle that ‘bail is free.’ In addition to this assurance, he encouraged citizens to play an active role in unveiling instances of corruption within the police force.

“If you feel you have been cheated by a policeman or a policeman engages in corruption, kindly report the policeman to his DPO. If the DPO is not forthcoming, report to the Area Commander. I believe your case will be solved. But if you still feel cheated, please report to me directly, my phone number is open to all Lagosians,” he added.

Present to receive the Certificate of Participation (CP) are distinguished individuals, including the Chairman and Founder of Melody FM, Prophet Sam Ojo, widely known as Baba Authority; the General Manager of Melody FM, Mr. Omisope; the Publisher of Yoruba Tooto newspaper, Mr. Kunle Babarinde; along with other key personnel from the radio station.

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