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 Assaulting Officer on Duty Diminishes Sanctity of Nigeria’s Symbol of Authority, Says Police Commission 

A viral video showed Seun Kuti slapping a police officer on his cheek over some misunderstanding.

The Police Service Commission (PSC), over the weekend, said the conduct of Afrobeat Singer, Seun Kuti, who slapped a police officer on duty, diminished the sanctity of Nigeria’s symbol of authority as represented by the Nigeria police.

A viral video showed the artiste hitting a police officer on his cheek over some misunderstanding.

Following the development, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, on Saturday, ordered Kuti’s arrest.

A statement by Force Headquarters, said the musician was captured on video assaulting a police officer in uniform.

But in a social media post, the musician alleged attempted murder of himself and his family by the police officer in question.

The statement by the PSC in Abuja, however, condemned in strong terms, the assault on the police officer by the musician.

“The Police Service Commission wishes to condemn in strong terms the assault of 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 Seun, who obviously has diminished the sanctity of the symbol of authority of the Nigerian nation,” it said.

The statement signed by the Commission’s spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, said, “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.

“Chairman of the Commission, Solomon Arase and former Inspector-General of Police, 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.”

Arase frowned at the effrontery of the musician to slap the police officer, insisting that Nigeria was not a Hobbesian state, where might is right.

“We must, as a civilised 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,” he said.

He 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.

The PSC boss 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 work places, the same police officers have become victims of the actions of some “uncultured elites.”

“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,” Arase said, noting that the groundswell of public opinion against the conduct of the abuser was indicative of the love and respect Nigerians have for the law enforcement officers.

This, he said, underscored the need for all police officers to continually respect the right of the populace and be professional in all their conduct.

Seun had, in an Instagram post, alleged that the police officer in question had apologised over an alleged attempt to kill him and his family.

“He tried to kill me and my family. I have the proof but I am not desperate. He has apologised and I have agreed not to press charges. Mind your business. Don’t allow the poor guy to lose his job,” he said.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, has hinted that the Afrobeat musician sought his legal services after he assaulted a police officer.

Falana, who confirmed the development, said the singer had sufficient evidence to defend himself.

“He is going to report himself to the police tomorrow morning. There is no problem at all,” Falana reportedly said.

Kingsley Nwezeh

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