The Nigeria Police Force has expressed concern about the unauthorised possession and use of police uniforms and accoutrements by individuals in the country, including movie and skit makers.
Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer, stated this in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He stated that the police were also worried about the illegal sale of police materials and accessories by traders in shops and open stores not approved nor recognised by authorities.
According to Adejobi, the Inspector General of Police has equally frowned at the ‘demeaning manner’ in which movie and skit makers portray the police institution in their productions.
He said such persons have continued to use 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 criminalise 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 groups 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 a 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 police spokesman said.
“The IGP further reiterates the commitment of the force to guaranteeing compliance with the law, as the Force Public Relations Officer has been charged with the task of ensuring prompt authorisation for all applications for approvals 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 commissioning of crimes in our society.”
The move by the force, Adejobi stated, would curb the proliferation of police kits, uniforms, and accessories, as well as eventually reduce police impostors-induced crimes in the society.