Inibehe Effiong, a Human Rights lawyer, has stated that the use of police uniforms by a skit maker, Abdulgafar Ahmad, popularly called Cute Abiola, for entertainment purposes is not illegal.
On Thursday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, stated that the comedian would be prosecuted for breaking the law “with regards to the use of uniforms”.
However, the human rights lawyer disagreed with the police spokesman in a statement issued on Friday, saying, “Entertainers use military and police uniforms globally for their art and craft”.
“Using ‘police uniform’ in a skit for the purpose of entertainment cannot by itself bring contempt to that uniform.
“In any event, if what’s demonstrated in the skit is a true reflection of what the police are known for, you will have a hard time proving this case.
“By the way, the said offense is a simple offense with a punishment of only three months imprisonment or a fine of forty Naira.
“If the Magistrate Court even agrees with your argument, a fine may be imposed, and I don’t see how a forty-naira fine on Cute Abiola will improve the revenue of the police or the federal government.
“Rather than dissipate your energy trying to fight skit makers for depicting the police in a way you’re not comfortable with, you should use that energy to curtail the menace, lawlessness, and wanton corruption of policemen whose endless abuse of power is what has actually brought the uniform and the Force into contempt.
“By the way, you will have to define what constitutes a “police uniform” as provided for by law and also prove beyond reasonable doubt that what Cute Abiola wore in the skit is a police uniform. It is not as simple as ABC. The law is not a joke. Criminal Litigation is not skittish,” he said.