IGP bans police intrusion into peoples’ telephones

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INSPECTOR-GENERAL of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered police officers to stop intruding into citizens’ phones under the guise of checking or searching them.

  Adamu gave the order in Abuja at a press briefing yesterday.

  According to him, the era of such activities is gone.

  “The issue of any Police unit going to look into people’s phones, which is supposed to be their private property, or looking at the type of vehicle they’re using, or profiling them to see whether they’re yahoo boys or not can no longer be tolerated. That era is gone. It is not acceptable,” IGP said.

  Adamu’s order is coming after uproar by Nigerians who, for years, had suffered abuse by security operatives that insisted on searching phones of Nigerians youths at checkpoints or any location.

  During such encounters at roadblocks or patrols, policemen, in most cases, forcefully snatch phones belonging to innocent citizens.

  They search through e-mails, text messages, as well as chats on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

  The victim is then “billed” an amount to secure the release of the gadget. Any claim of right or refusal to pay could lead to severe beating, seizure of the phone – or both.

  A number of Nigerians have also complained of how police teams forced them to log into their bank accounts to view the balance.

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