The Police high command had recently issued a warning to private security firms to desist from using the police uniform in the guise of being genuine Nigerian police officials.
The alarm contained in a statement made available to Leadership by force spokesman, CP Emmanuel Ojukwu also warned private security to stay away from polling booths or stations during the elections which come up next month.
Ojukwu said, “The attention of the Police High Command has been drawn to some Youth Vanguards, government security outfit or private uniformed security outfits who are kitted in a manner similar to Police uniform and accoutrements. This action is illegal as it is clearly stated in section 214, sub section 1 of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria that:
“There shall be a Police Force for Nigeria which shall be known as Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provision of this section no other Police Force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof.”
“Attention is also drawn to section 42 of Police Act cap 19 LFN 2014 which stated inter alia that “every person not being a Police officer who puts on or assumes either in whole or in part, the dress, name, designation, or description of any Police officer or any dress, name or designation, resembling and intended to resemble the dress, name or designation of any Police officer, or in any way pretends to be a Police officer for the purposes of obtaining admission into any house or other place, or of doing any act which such person would not by law entitled to do his own authority, shall be guilty of offence…”
“This warning is imperative and necessary at this crucial period of electioneering activities with a view to avoiding complicity as some of their excesses and illegality may be attributed to the Nigeria Police.
“For emphasis, no government or private security outfit or Youth Vanguard should use uniform or accoutrements similar to that of Nigeria Police.
“Equally, no private security outfit is allowed near a polling booth or polling station on election days.
“Moreso, all the Zonal AIGs and Command Commissioners of Police have been further directed to place their men on the alert and arrest any private uniformed security outfit that flouts this directive,” Ojukwu said.