MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
Attempt by two young men to disarm a policeman last Saturday at Meiran area of Lagos has been strongly condemned by a security consultant and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Badinson Security Services Limited, Mr. Matthew Ibadin.
The Badinson boss in a press statement on Monday took a swipe on the audacity of the two young men whose ignoble act has been trending in the social media. The disgusting viral video has drawn much public reaction with many Nigerians describing the action of the civilians as a homicide attempt.
The two civilians from their utterances in the viral video were asking the policeman who was armed with AK47 rifle in company of another policeman to return his phone allegedly seized from one of the two young men.
According to Ibadin, the attempt to forcefully retrieve the phone from the armed police man was a very wrong approach which could have resulted in blood shed if the two policemen did not act with caution.
“Much as nobody is saying that the policemen were justified in illegally seizing the civilian’s phone, adopting a hostile and dehumanizing approach in trying to recover it, was the least that could have been done in the circumstance,” Ibadin said.
“No civilian has the right to fight a security agent who is either on uniform or having identity card identifying him or her as an official of the Police Force, DSS, immigration, custom, civil defence, LASTMA and so on.
“What a civilian can do if a law enforcement officer like the police, assaults him or seizes his phone like in the case of the two young men, is to pick the tag number of the officer and lodge official report at the nearest police station, area command or commissioner of police office. The person can as well write a petition to the Inspector General of Police on the incident or get a lawyer to seek redress in the court.
The security consultant added that in a saner clime, it is an abomination for a civilian to attempt seizing a policeman’s rifle since a uniformed policeman or any security agent of the state is the symbol of authority and sovereignty of that very country.
He expressed extreme disgust over the poor attitudinal disposition and effrontery of the two young men in dragging the rifle with the policeman and ultimately pushing him down without the slightest feeling that he was fighting a man in authority.
He wondered why many Nigerians are yet to understand the procedure of seeking redress when their rights are supposedly breached by security agents of the state.
Ibadin advised that people should understand that they can never be a judge in their own case by resorting to self help in a matter that could have been administratively handled by the authorities like the recent case of Corporal Opeyemi Kadiri who reportedly seized a phone from a commuter and ultimately resorted to searching the phone contrary to extant order of the Inspector General of Police.
In early August, 2022 Corporal Kadiri who was attached to Dolphin Divisional Police Station of the Lagos State Police Command had accosted a commuter, seized his phone and was searching through it without any lawful order to do so. The act had taken place in less than two months after the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba had warned that it was unlawful for any policeman to seize and search the phone of any civilian.
Corporal Opeyemi Kadiri on August 12, 2022 was subsequently dismissed from the services of the Nigeria Police Force for gross misconduct, disobedience to lawful order and assault on a member of the public.
The Badinson Security chieftain reasoned that the two young men would have adopted the same approach without endangering their lives and exhibiting a beastly attitude that leaves them with no sympathy among the civil populace.
Meanwhile, AtlanticNewsonline gathered that the two young men were arraigned on Monday at a Lagos Magistrate Court but details of arraignment were not available as at press time.