Following the splatter of a video revealing a popular musician and activist slapping, assaulting and battering a police officer all over social media, is it safe to say that the bush meat has finally caught the hunter?
In the last 24 hours, there has also been another incident of a lady arraigned in court and remanded to Kirikiri Correctional Facility for assaulting a police officer. It is, however, unclear what the police officer did to trigger the lady’s alleged assault.
The usual narrative, as it relates to the Nigerian police and brutality, is that police officers harass, assault, exploit, extort and batter citizens, but the reverse happened in this case.
Thankfully, aside from the provisions of the laws in Nigeria which protect citizens against unsavoury acts meted against them by the police, our laws equally protect police officers from violent acts and other similar forms of assault citizens can inflict on them.
Accordingly, Section 356 (2) of Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act provides that attacking a police officer is a serious offence, a felony as at that, and it is punishable with a jail term of 3 years imprisonment, without an option of a fine.
Below are the relevant excerpts from Section 356(2) of the Criminal Code Act, which criminalises and makes punishable acts of assault and battery against a police officer:
…any person who-
Assaults, resists or wilfully obstructs a police officer while acting in the execution of his duty… is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.
Furthermore, Section 98 of the Nigerian Police Act replicates this provision mentioned above, describing Police Assault as a felony but making it punishable by six months imprisonment.
This incident is a loud reminder to all and sundry that- if na wahala you dey find, wahala you go geti o.
Nigeria is governed by laws, and it is in the best interest of citizens to remain law-abiding and justice conscious, for ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
Likewise, law enforcement agencies are urged to prioritise addressing police brutality with equal passion as they do when handling assaults on police by citizens.