The officers accused of phone theft at Computer Village, Lagos, in a video circulating on the internet are innocent, the police have said.
Hakeem Odumosu, the state police commissioner, said in a statement Tuesday that the video was intended to ridicule police officers.
“The authors of the referred viral video painted the incident mischievously and in a bad light with an attempt to ridicule the entire Nigeria Police Force,” Mr Odumosu said in the statement signed by Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer.
A video was circulated on social media over the weekend showing some youth attacking two police officers around Computer Village in Ikeja, and accusing them of stealing mobile phones. There were calls from the crowd for the officers to be lynched but a few men guarded them.
In his statement, Mr Odumosu said the incident allegedly happened on Friday.
“The policemen never went to buy phones, neither were they caught in any act of theft at the computer village,” he said.
“The HP Electronics Company’s taskforce on piracy with the police operatives were on a routine operation against piracy and sub-standard products in the market,” he said.
The CP said that some hoodlums, in a bid to distract and halt the anti-piracy operation, created a scene by attacking the team and passing uncomplimentary remarks on the policemen.
“The team was eventually chased away by the hoodlums and did not allow the operation to succeed, due to their criminal tendencies.
“The policemen are not thieves, but operatives on official and legal operation, contrary to the wrong impression painted by the originators of the fake video on social media.
“The State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is investigating the theft allegation and attacks on the policemen and the team,” he said.
Mr Odumosu said this type of false allegation and attack on police officers was the third of its kind in recent time in the same computer village.
“The command will not tolerate any act of criminality and lawlessness in any part of the state.
“The general public must desist from launching attacks on the police and other security agents; and peddling fake news that will dent our national integrity and honour, which we all guard jealously,” he said. (NAN)