Phone Search: Police Officer Who Assaulted Man Moved To Force Headquarters For Disciplinary Action — Hundeyin

Lagos State Police Command on Monday said the officer captured harassing a resident after he denied him access to search his phone has been transferred to the Force Headquarters for disciplinary action.

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The officer, Opeyemi Kadiri, was captured by a resident in a video threatening to break his phone after he denied him checking his phone.

The Lagos Police Spokesperson, Ben Hundeyin, speaking during an interview on Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, said the officer’s case has been transferred to the Force headquarters.

He said the Force headquarters had demanded his transfer for reasons, one of which was an attempt to break the victim’s phone despite telling the officer the new directive on phone searching.

Hundeyin said, “I got wind of it (the case) on Wednesday and ordered the officer to report at the headquarters on Thursday, which he did, and after I spoke to him and established that he misbehaved.

“He was handed over to the provost department, and he has been there, but we got a directive from the Force Headquarters that he should be transferred to Abuja. So, he has been transferred to Abuja.

“Further update will come from the headquarters, and we can’t say anything until the disciplinary process concludes with their verdict,” he said.

On July 20, the Force Spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi in a tweet, said police officers have no right to search phones.

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He said: “No policeman has the right to check one’s phone anywhere except the phone is an exhibit in a case under investigation. Any policeman who does that is not a policeman but rather a scavenger.”

Hundeyin also stressed the issue during the interview and described the act as an invasion of privacy, contrary to the modus Operandi of searching for suspicious individuals.

He said, “The law empowers a police officer to stop and search you if he has reasonable suspicion. The officer has the right to ask the right questions as he deems fit”.

“They are not allowed to go through anybody’s phone,” he said, adding that only searches featuring cars and persons are permitted.

The police, in recent times, have punished deviant officers across the country found culpable of misconduct especially as it maintains the campaign against cleansing the system of rotten eggs and enhancing a good image of the force.

The fight against police misconduct gained momentum in October 20202, following the EndSARS campaign that demanded the professional behaviour of police officers and the stop of the unlawful extortion of Nigerians.

The police, led by IGP Muhammed Adamu at the time, banned personnel from indiscriminately browsing through mobile phones and laptops belonging to members of the public.

Adamu said, “All Tactical Squads must also desist from the invasion of the privacy of citizens, particularly through an indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices”.

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