The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has read the riot act to skit makers who use police uniforms, kits and other accoutrements without authorisation.
In a statement on Sunday, Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, a Chief Superintendent, expressed worry on the portrayal of the police by filmmakers and skit makers, warning that the use of police uniform without permission is criminalised and punishable by section 251 of the Criminal Code law, and Section 133 of the Penal Code Law.
According to him, the IGP has ordered officers “to arrest and immediately prosecute, in accordance with the law, all persons or group of persons engaging in the illegal sales of police uniforms and accoutrements within their jurisdictions”.
He further stated that, “The Nigeria Police Force has expressed concern over the incessant and authorised possession and use of Police uniforms and accoutrements by some individuals, movies and skit makers, as well as the illegal sale of Police materials and accoutrements by traders in shops, open stores not approved nor recognized by Police authority.
“The IGP has equally frowned at the demeaning manner in which movie makers and skit makers portray the Police institution in their movies and skits…the IGP, therefore, charged all commands and formations, the IGP Monitoring Unit, Provost marshals and X-Squad, to arrest and immediately prosecute skit makers who portray the Nigeria Police Force officers in a bad light, without applying for, and being duly issued a permit letter for such portrayals, to desist with immediate effect or face the full wrath of the law.”
Adejobi explained that the IGP has directed the “prompt authorisation for all applications for approvals of usage of police items in movies, in tandem with the extant laws and which will portray good values, impress positively on the Nigerian public, add value to our system, provide police officers with modern innovations to actively carry out policing duties and on-screen role models who would influence their lives and career; and consequently, improve security mechanisms in Nigeria.”
The police spokesman stressed that “the Inspector-General of Police strongly believes that such sanity in movies production, regulation of sales, possession and usage of police uniforms and accoutrements will definitely impact positively on resuscitating moral values, and correcting wrong perceptions and ideologies towards commissioning of crimes in our society. It is obvious that this step will surely curb proliferation of police kits, uniforms and accoutrements and eventually reduce police impostors-induced crimes in our society.”