According to the police high command, before an officer searches your house or car, it's perfectly okay to search them first.
“If an officer wants to search you in your house/ car, he must first surrender himself for searching. This is the procedure. Ask politely”, the police force tweeted on its handle.
Nigerians have been citing instances of police officers seizing their phones or laptops on street corners and dark alleys, instructing that the phone be unlocked and skimming through the device for something near incriminating.
However, the police high command has announced that any officer who does this is way out of line.
“It is not ideal for Officers to search your phones without a complaint. It is not professional. Officers have been lectured not to unnecessarily search people's phones without any case or complaint against the person”, the police shared in another tweet.
The police engagement on social media with the hashtag #AskThePolice comes after Twitter user Adegoke Ifeoluwa reported that operatives of the Police Special Ant-Robbery Squad (SARS) extorted her while she was out on a video shoot.
“With my encounter today, it’s safe to say SARS are armed robbers. Was going for a shoot in Ikorodu today and armed members of SARS pulled us over and made us pay for no reason. Threatening they were gonna waste our lives. I made a transfer so they can be traced”, Ifeoluwa tweeted.
Moments later, the police announced that the erring officer had been arrested and was now in police custody.
“I am glad to inform you that account owner has been identified - Inspector Charles Omotosho, FSARS Ikorodu, Lagos. He is under custody, preliminary investigation ongoing. PCRRU will inform you on next line of action. Sorry for the experience”, Abayomi Shogunle, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, tweeted.
Nigerians often say their police force ranks amongst the most corrupt and brutal in the world; amid claims of extortion, profiling, harassment, bribe seeking and extra-judicial killings from often inebriated cops.