Femi Falana, Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has condemned the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi over comment that Nigerians should not retaliate to assault by police officers.
Adejobi had stated this on his Twitter page on Saturday.
He tweeted that “if a policeman in uniform slaps a civilian, the civilian has no right to retaliate. More so, if he’s on the uniform, it’s an act of disrespect to Nigeria to beat an officer on a uniform.
“The disrespect is not to the policeman but to our nation and it’s a crime as enshrined in our criminal laws.”
Reacting to Adejobi’s tweet, Falana stated that “every Nigerian is entitled to the fundamental right and no citizen shall be subjected to any physical or psychological torture.”
“From subjecting Nigerian people including criminal suspects to degrading, humiliating or inhumane treatment.
“By virtue of section 34 of the Nigerian Constitution, every citizen is entitled to the fundamental right to the dignity of their person. Accordingly, no citizen shall be subjected to any mental, physical or psychological torture.
“In section (2)(b) of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 states that torture is deemed committed when an act by which pain and suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person to punish him for an act he or a third person has committed or suspected of having committed.
“The penalty for assaulting a civilian is 25 years under the Anti Torture Act of 2017. In addition, the victim may sue for monetary compensation under the Anti Torture Act and the Constitution.
“Civilians are required to respect police officers who are discharging their lawful duties. The criminal code states that the penalty for assaulting or slapping a police officer is 3 years imprisonment. In the same vein, police officers are equally mandated to respect civilians,” Falana said.