Use Of Uniform IGP Threatens Arrest Of Skit, Filmmakers

Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has declared the use of police uniforms, kits, and other accouterments by film and skit makers illegal vowing to go after people that violate the directive under any guise. 

Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, made this known in a statement which was sighted by Africa Today News, New York on Monday.

Mr Adejobi, who expressed fears about how the police are depicted in the various entertainment content in circulation online, said using the police uniform without permission has now been criminalised and punished by section 251 of the Criminal Code law, and Section 133 of the Penal Code Law.

He further revealed that the IGP has given an order to police officers “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”.

He added that ‘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.’

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The statement read in part; ‘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 criminalise 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 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 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 movies 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. 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.’

The warning by the police comes as comedians, particularly on social media, use police uniforms for their content.

Africa Today News, New York reports that some of the popular comedians who have used the police uniform regularly are Broda Shaggi, Officer Woos, William Uchemba, Aki, and Paw Paw, among several others.

Police characters are a regular feature in the booming skit-making industry in Nigeria.

Africa Today News, New York

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