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Police officer sacked for searching commuter’s phone

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The Nigeria Police have dismissed a corporal attached to the Dolphin Divisional Police Headquarters, Lagos, Opeyemi Kadiri, for gross misconduct and other offences.

The Force spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, stated on his Twitter handle on Friday, August 12, 2022, that Kadiri was dismissed “for gross misconduct, disobedience to lawful order, and assault.”

The police said the sacked corporal’s behaviour violated the directive of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba.


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Adejobi stated, “The dismissed officer, who enlisted into the force on 6th December, 2016, was caught searching a commuter’s phone by the roadside, contrary to the directive of Usman Alkali Baba, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), to that effect.

“He equally assaulted the commuter, who attempted to bring the order to his notice. His dismissal takes effect from today the 12th of August, 2022.”

The spokesman urged police officers to maintain professionalism and civility in the discharge of their duties to members of the public.

“The force equally calls on members of the public to ensure proper conduct in all encounters with police officers to avoid infractions, which may be subject to prosecution,” he said.

A video of Kadiri and his colleagues shouting at the commuter to pull over and submit his phone for a search had gone viral on August 3, 2022.

As seen in the video, the owner of the phone resisted the policeman’s pull to hand over his phone and was heard saying, “So, I was going for a job, this policeman stopped me, collected my phone and was searching me. But the Inspector-General of Police had said on Twitter that you should not search my phone. Why are you searching my phone?”

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The Lagos State police spokesperson, Benjamin Hundeyin, later disclosed that the officer in the viral video had been identified and recommended for disciplinary action.

Hundeyin gave the update via his Twitter handle on Thursday.

“The officers reported today. They have been handed over to the Provost for disciplinary action, pending their transfer to FHQ Abuja for further disciplinary measures.

“The video clearly shows assault on the part of the officer.

“A testimony/statement from the victim would have helped a lot in establishing the phone search beyond reasonable doubt, like it did in previous cases where victims showed up or explained further on phone,” Hundeyin stated.

The Nigeria police had reiterated on July 20, 2022 that no police officer had the right to check anybody’s phone anywhere, except the phone was an exhibit in a case under investigation.

Hundeyin, clarifying this via his twitter handle when a tweet (@feranmiofafrica) asked if the police had the right to search a citizen’s phone, added, “That phone must have been marked exhibit. Any policeman who does that is not a policeman, but rather a scavenger,” he stated.

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Author profile

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: umustapha@icirnigeria.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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