Police boss says you shouldn’t allow any officer to seize and search your phone

Next time the police wants to search your phone, show them this article.

A former Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos State, Dolapo Badmus, says it’s illegal for any police officer to go through anyone’s phone.

Badmus adds that personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have no business with the mobile devices of Nigerians.

She insists that officers who engage in the practice of going through mobile devices of Nigerians are harassing the citizens, Nigeriannewspapper reports.

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Badmus made the remarks on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at the ongoing Social Media Week in Lagos.

She says, “The menace of officers of NPF stopping residents of Lagos and demanding to search their phones has become increasingly worrisome.

“Those officers demanding to search people’s mobile devices can be likened to walking up to a random man and asking him to pull off his boxers for the sake of a search operation.”

According to her, the act is wrong because a mobile phone is an individual’s private space.

She explains that phones contain confidential details such as bank information and discreet chats, among others.

The police have been brazen in their seizure and examination of smartphones under the pretext of nabbing internet fraudsters or ‘Yahoo Yahoo boys.’

Oftentimes, the phones are only returned after the victim parts with a fee.

“Police officers are only allowed to do so when there is a reason to carry out an investigation,” she says.

“I must say that in Nigeria, the police are still a work-in-progress and we will get it right soon.”

The police in Nigeria is often assailed with allegations of disproportionate use of force, extra-judicial killings, human rights violations, extortion and profiling.

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