The Vice Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Ijebu Ode branch Moruff O. Balogun, Esq. has thrown heavy weight behind the statement made by the force PRO, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi to the effect that the civilian have no right to respond/retaliate if policemen in uniform slap them.
In a statement made available to our correspondent, Mr. Balogun stated that the position of force PRO on the issue under consideration is valid, correct and legal.
He said further that there is no law that allows anyone to take laws into his/her hands. We must not encourage a situation where people will resort to self-help in this type of situation.
Nobody is saying a policeman can slap or has right to slap civilian indiscriminately, the law frowns at it, but what we are saying is that if the bad eggs in the police flout the laws, are we saying the civilian should resort to self-help? The answer is NO.
Section 317 of Nigeria Police Regulation prescribes punishments for erring police officers which implies that the police are not above the law.
Section 371 of the above regulation states that:
“A junior officer who is guilty of an offence against discipline shall be liable to any of the following punishments, that is to say:
Reduction in rank
With holding or deferment of increment
Fine not exceeding N10
Confinement to barracks for any number of days not exceeding fourteen days.
Fatigues or other duties or punishment drill not exceeding a total of ten separate hours.
Based on the above, the force PRO is correct to urge the public not to confront/retaliate or resort to self-help if assaulted by any police officer. Reporting such police officer to the law enforcement agency for appropriate disciplinary measure is what the law supports.
Those who are calling for the retraction of force PRO statement should kindly be guided. It is a dangerous position to create an impression that the public can confront the policemen in the discharge of their duties; even if they violate the laws. He added.
I stand the Barrister Moruff O. Balogun about his opinion, the truth still remains that, A police officer have not right of whatsoever to slap a civilian and when such thing happened, it’s a duty on the part of the civilian to report the police officer and not to retaliate.