“Assaulting A Civilian Attracts 25 Years Imprisonment For A Policeman” — Falana SAN Counters Force PRO, Adejobi
The learned made this remark on Sunday while reacting to a statement credited to the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force, Mr. Olumuyiwa Adejobi, that if a policeman slaps a ‘civilian’, the person has no right to retaliate.
Adejobi, in his statement “Even if a policeman on uniform slaps a civilian, the civilian has no right to retaliate. More so, if he’s on uniform, it’s an act of disrespect to Nigeria to beat an officer on uniform. The disrespect is not to the policeman but to our nation and it’s a crime as enshrined in our criminal laws.”
Reacting to Adejobi’s view Falana, SAN, in a statement made available, said by virtue of section 34 of the Nigerian Constitution, every citizen is entitled to the fundamental right to the dignity of their person.
“Accordingly, no citizen shall be subjected to any mental, physical or psychological torture.
“Both the Administrators of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and Police Establishment Act 2020 have prohibited police officers and other law enforcement personnel from subjecting Nigerian people including criminal suspects to degrading, humiliating or inhumane treatment.
“Civilians are required to respect police officers who are discharging their lawful duties.
“The penalty for assaulting or slapping a police officer is 3 years’ imprisonment under the Criminal Code.
“In the same vein, police officers are equally mandated to respect civilians. Indeed, section (2)(b) of the Anti Torture Act, 2017 states that torture is deemed committed when an act by which pain and suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person to punish him for an act he or a third person has committed or suspected of having committed.
“The penalty for assaulting a civilian is 25 years under the Anti Torture Act of 2017.
“In addition, the victim may sue for monetary compensation under the Anti Torture Act and the Constitution.”