It’s unprofessional to search people’s phone – police Commissioner tell cops

The Edo State Police Command has restated its prohibition of officers searching citizens’ phones during routine patrols and other operations, citing such behavior as unprofessional. SP Chidi Nwabuzor, the command’s Public Relations Officer, made this announcement in a statement released on the command’s Facebook page on Friday.

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According to the statement, Commissioner of Police CP Funsho Adegboye emphasized to officers the directive from the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, which called for the punishment of any officers found guilty of this offense.

The statement clarified, “This press release aims to inform the law-abiding citizens of Edo State, as well as the general public, about the stance of the state police command regarding the searching of citizens’ phones during routine patrols, stop and search operations, and other duties in the state.”

During a meeting with the command’s strategic security managers, CP Funsho Adegboye reaffirmed the ban on officers searching citizens’ phones while on patrol, conducting raids, carrying out stop and search duties, or performing other essential tasks.

“He warned that police officers/operatives should never engage in searching citizens’ phones while on duty,” the statement continued.

It further stated that CP Adegboye clarified officers could only search citizens’ phones when they possessed a court order from a competent jurisdiction, empowering them to do so in the course of an investigation.

The CP cautioned the officers and personnel to refrain from engaging in this unprofessional conduct of searching phones, emphasizing that severe penalties would be imposed on any officer caught doing so.

Furthermore, he urged the public to exercise patience with the police and report any officer who partakes in such unprofessional conduct.

In January, PUNCH reported that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fayoade Adegoke, declared that no police officer was authorized to search the phones of Nigerian citizens.

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