The Nigeria Police Force has issued a directive, stating that officers engaged in stop-and-search duties must be in uniform, with their names clearly displayed, according to the Force Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi.
Adejobi made this announcement on his official social media handle on Monday in response to a video showing four plainclothes policemen stopping a driver on the Lekki-Epe Express Way. The officers had requested the driver’s tinted permit, prompting the driver to inquire about their identities, noting the absence of any indication that they were policemen.
In his response, Adejobi revealed that the officers had been identified and traced to Zone 2. He assured that the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Zone 2 in Lagos is conducting an investigation, with the Zone 2 Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) expected to provide further details soon.
Adejobi emphasized that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has mandated that any officer involved in routine patrol or stop-and-search must wear a uniform, be properly dressed, and easily identifiable. He underscored that conducting stop-and-search in plainclothes is not ideal, as it encourages unprofessional behavior when officers operate without visible identification.
The Force PRO reiterated, “The audacity to misbehave or carry out unprofessional conduct comes when you know your identity is hidden and unknown. I still reiterate that policemen on stop-and-search and routine patrol must be in uniform. That is the standard in the police.”
Adejobi further clarified that officers in plainclothes are supposed to be involved in surveillance or undercover operations, emphasizing that they should not be seen with long-range guns or rifles. He urged Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and Heads of Departments (HODs) to enforce these standards to ensure professionalism and maintain order.