Yesterday 26th of March, 2020, a video clip went viral showing some persons dressed in the Nigerian Police uniforms invading some business premises in an area in Lagos State and destroying the goods that were on sale. The video clip allegedly showed policemen bringing out crates of drinks and destroying smashing them on the floor. There was no evidence of provocation or attack that could have made the Policemen to embark on such a display of sheer brutish act of impunity.
The Nigerian Policemen are statutorily employed to maintain law and order, not to create disorderliness and chaos. There is nowhere in our criminal laws where it is stated that the punishment for any alleged crime is for Policemen to take laws into their hands and deliver jungle justice.
We have reached out to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State on the alleged disturbing video and we are still awaiting his response. We demand for an investigation of the incident and the perpetrators of the brutish act be brought to book.
We hereby call upon all the security agencies to exercise restraint and exhibit civility in dealing with the situations thrown up by COVID-19. Consistent public enlightenment would help and in the event of any criminal infraction by any member of the society, the security agencies should follow laid down procedures in arresting and prosecuting offenders.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency. All hands must be on deck to push it back and we must therefore, co-operate with the various government agencies in dealing with this pandemic. For now, medical experts have strongly advised that apart from observing basic hygiene practice of washing hands with soap, use of alcohol based sanitizers and social distancing members of the public are also strongly advised to STAY AT HOME. The virus does not move. It is humans that move it.
National Publicity Secretary,
Nigerian Bar Association