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Edo Police Command Bans Officers from Searching Citizens’ Phones

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The Nigerian Police Force, Edo State Command has banned the searching of citizens’ phones during routine patrol, stop and search duties, or any other essential tasks. This was conveyed in a statement issued by the Edo State Police spokesperson, SP Chidi Nwabuzor on Friday.

Nwabuzor explained that the Commissioner of Police (CP) in Edo State, Funsho Adegboye, issued a stern warning to police officers against searching citizens’ phones without proper authorisation. According to Adegboye, this directive comes directly from the Inspector-General of Police.

During a meeting with the Command’s strategic security managers, Adegboye reiterated the need for officers to adhere to professional standards and respect citizens’ rights. He clarified that officers can only search phones when authorised by a court order from a competent jurisdiction during investigations.

Quoting the CP, Nwabuzor warned that any officer caught engaging in this unprofessional conduct will face severe sanctions. He urged the public to report any officer who indulges in such behavior.

This directive from Adegboye echoes a similar warning issued by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fayoade Adegoke, in January 2024. Adegoke emphasised that police officers are not permitted to search citizens’ phones without proper authorisation and urged the public to report any misconduct by police officers. Despite past directives, officers of the Nigerian Police Force still struggle to treat citizens with decency and respect.

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