FPRO advises Nigerians to report police officers who forcefully collect their phones

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has reiterated its ban on the indiscriminate search of mobile phones by police officers, noting that such practices are not only unprofessional but also illegal.

The force spokesperson, Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement on Wednesday, strongly condemned the act of police officers forcefully collecting and searching citizens’ phones

The condemnation was prompted by a complaint tweet accompanied by a picture depicting police officers searching the phones of citizens on the roadside. The X user, who goes by the handle @nabrga, says, “You ordered your men not to search anyone’s phone but here we have your men doing this searching innocent citizens just because they are using an iPhone.”

Adejobi addressed the issue, saying that such actions are in direct violation of the Inspector-General of Police’s directives and the NPF’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

“Report any policeman who forcefully collects and searches your phones or electronic equipment. It’s not proper, not professional,” Adejobi stated.

According to him, police officers are only authorised to search electronic devices if they have a valid warrant and if the device is linked to an ongoing investigation.

“Such searches must be conducted in a proper and lawful manner, and they cannot be carried out on the roadside,” he added.

The police spokesman also noted that any policeman who searches the phone on the road is deviant, violates the order of the IGP and negates the force SOP, adding that such an officer will be sanctioned.

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