Dolapo Badmus, a former Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, made this known while speaking at the ongoing Social Media Week 2020 (SMW) in Lagos on Wednesday.
She spoke at a session with the theme ‘Social Media Wars -Dreads, Tattoos, and Password’.
Badmus said that whenever anyone was waved down by the police, “try to be friendly, identify yourself and be composed’’.
According to her, Police remain your friend; even when you have tattoo all over your body, that doesn’t make you a criminal.
She said all one needed to do was to express and explain oneself and you would be allowed to go.
Badmus also explained that no police officer had the authority or right to search people’s mobile devices.
”Police officers are only allowed to do so when there is a reason to carry out an investigation.
”The menace of officers of NPF stopping residents of Lagos and demanding to search their phones has become increasingly worrisome.
”Those officers demanding to search people’s mobile devices can be likened to walking up to a random man and asking him to pull off his boxers for the sake of a search operation.
According to her, the development is wrong as a phone is a private space.
Sighting herself as an example, Badmus noted that she could decide to keep vital information such as her bank account in her phone.
Badmus said that there were also people who stored their bank statements in their mobile phones and it would be completely wrong for a police officer to demand to go through such devices.
She, however, noted that such a search was only appropriate “when there is a reasonable ground for doing so’’.
Badmus emphasized that officers were only permitted to search mobile devices when there is a reason to carry out an investigation.
She, however, said that there were so many credible people in the force.
She said that many police officers were doing amazing things.
“I must say this that in Nigeria, the police is still a work-in-progress and we will get it right soonest,” Badmus said.