The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, has warned movie, skit makers, and individuals against unauthorised and illegal use of police uniforms, threatening to arrest and prosecute all those found culpable.
Specifically, the police chief frowned “on the demeaning manner in which movie makers and skit makers portray the police institution in their movies and skits.”
The IGP’s warning was conveyed in a statement yesterday Sunday by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP).
“The Nigeria Police Force has expressed concern over the incessant and unauthorised possession and use of police uniforms and accoutrements by some individuals, movie and skit makers, as well as the illegal sale of police materials and accoutrements by traders in shops, open stores not approved nor recognised by police authority,” Adejobi said.
To demonstrate his seriousness, Baba has directed formations, the IGP’s Monitoring Unit, Provost Marshals, and other special squads to ensure full implementation.
The statement read: “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, using the police uniform without recourse to the provision of section 251 of the Criminal Code law, and section 133 of the Penal Code Law, which criminalises such unauthorised use with accompanying necessary sanctions.
“The IGP, therefore, charged all commands and formations, the IGP Monitoring Unit, Provost Marshals and X-Squad, 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, while film or skit makers who portray the Nigeria Police Force officers in 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.
“The IGP further reiterated the commitment of the Force to guaranteeing compliance with law, as the Force Public Relations Officer has been charged with the task of ensuring prompt authorisation for all applications for approval 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 Inspector-General of Police strongly believes that such sanity in movie 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 committing 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.”