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Stop searching people’s phones, police warned

Stop searching people’s phones, police warned

By Michael Ofulue
A warning has gone to policemen who are in the habit of checking people’ mobile phones under the guise of arresting internet fraudsters, to desist from such illegal act or face disciplinary action.

To this end, members of the public have been advised to resist any attempt by any policeman; especially those on the road check points, from searching their phones for whatever circumstance.

This warning is coming on the heels of reports that policemen in the state are in the habit of invading into peoples’ privacies, by demanding to go through their mobile phones or laptops, under the guise of looking for internet fraudsters, otherwise known as “Yahoo Yahoo” guys.

Reacting to the development in an interview with The Hope Metro, the police spokesman in the state, CSP Femi Joesph, said it is unethical, unlawful and against the police rules and regulations to check peoples’ phones without any reason for such act.

He explained that such act amounts to unlawful invasion into peoples’ private life and also a violation of fundamental human right and which the police authority frowns at seriously.

Joseph said the police authority has continued to warn it’s men against searching peoples’ phones, especially travellers, on the suspicion that they are internet fraudsters, adding that anybody caught henceforth, would be arrested and made to face severe disciplinary action.

His words, ”The only reason for a policeman to search a person’s phone is when there is an allegation connecting his or her phone to a crime. And that can be done during a matter under investigation.

“You cannot for whatever reason stop somebody along the road and started searching through his phone or car when there is no issue reported against such person.”

The PPRO , who enjoined the general public to report any policeman found going against his constitutional responsibilities, hinted that the command’s monitoring unit is already going after such officers who are giving police a bad image before the public.

Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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