The Police Service Commission has said that Seun Kuti, an Afrobeat musician, should be immediately prosecuted for allegedly assaulting a police officer on the Third Mainland bridge in Lagos State on Saturday.
No one has the right to assault a policeman in uniform and while doing official duties, regardless of the crime the police officer has committed, according to PSC Chairman Dr. Solomon Arase, a retired Inspector-General of Police.
The Head of Press and Public Relations at PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, announced the news on Sunday in a statement.
Ani said, “The police service commission wishes to condemn in strong terms the assault on a police officer in uniform and on official duty in Lagos by one Seun Kuti.
“The commission however commends the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, for his prompt action in ordering the arrest and prosecution of Ṣeun who obviously has diminished the sanctity of the symbol of authority of the Nigerian nation.
“The commission demands that the culprit must be arraigned immediately and that the Inspector General must ensure that the matter is followed to its logical conclusion to restore public confidence in the Nigeria Police as the lead agency in internal security and in its ability to maintain law and order and also protect lives and properties.
“The Chairman of the commission, Arase, said no matter the offence the police officer committed, nobody, including Seun Kuti has the right to assault a policeman in uniform and on official duty.”
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Ani further noted that the PSC chairman frowned at the effort of Seun to slap the police officer, insisting that Nigeria is not a Hobbesian state where might is right.
“We must as a civilized people explore established channels of complaints against alleged infractions by law enforcement officials rather than this uncouth behaviour in assaulting the symbol of authority in our country.
“We look forward to the prompt prosecution of Seun to act as a deterrent to others of his ilk,” Ani quoted Arase as saying.
Arase further commended the police officer for refusing to be provoked by the action of his aggressor, a development he said would have been more fatal.
Ani further added, “The PSC chairman said it was unfortunate that at a time the management of the Nigeria Police was dealing decisively with officers who harass, intimidate or assault civilians on our roads and workplaces, the same police officers have become victims of the actions of some uncultured elites.
“He said the police should use the present incident to set an example that this will never be tolerated in Nigeria, a country governed by laws, rules and regulations.
“The chairman noted that the groundswell of public opinion against the conduct of the abuser is indicative of the love and respect Nigerians have for law enforcement officers. This he said underscores the need for all police officers to continually respect the right of the populace and be professional in all their conduct.”