THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – President Muhammadu Buhari has warned officers of the Nigeria Police Force to desist from arresting innocent Nigerians on the street while trying to fight crime.
The reaction of the president came after recent complaints by civil society groups about the arrest of Nigerian citizens just because they look successful and are carrying laptops, a report says.
This was revealed on Monday, October 28, 2019, in a keynote address delivered on behalf of the president by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the opening ceremony of the conference and retreat for senior police officers in Lagos.
The president noted that:
‘The police cannot escape public scrutiny and sometimes criticism; Nigerian people, old and young, want our police force to better and do better; they want to be even prouder than your service than ever before.
‘This is why in some of our urban areas we want to see more compliance with the rule of law and in dealing with Nigerians.
He went further to condemn the arrest of innocent Nigerians, saying, ‘Yes we must apprehend yahoo criminals but we cannot harass young men and women on the streets and in taxis most of whom are merely going about their legitimate businesses.’
‘There are also cases of extra judicial killings and injuries; misuse of weapons and excessive use of force by some members of the force,’ the president lamented.
‘This sort of conduct by a few bad police officers must stop, and it is the duty of you senior and strategic leaders of the police force to ensure that impunity of any kind is discouraged and punished where it is found,’ he added.
The president commended the efforts of the police nonetheless, highlighting some of its achievements in recent times.