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Published On: Wed, Aug 3rd, 2022

The Right Of Skit, Film Makers To Portray Nigeria Police  In Bad Light And Use Of Uniform

MALCOLM OMIRHOBO

By Chief (Barr.) Malcolm Omirhobo

LAGOS AUGUST 3RD (URHOBOTODAY)-Weighing  the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, order for the arrest and prosecution of skit and movie makers over the   unauthorized use of Police uniforms and the portrayal of the  police  institution in bad light,   I am compelled to make the following clarifications for the  protection of the rights of the promoters of the make believe world industry in  Nigeria .

I will like to start by saying that the inspector general of police has no powers to direct the movie makers and skit makers on  how they chose to portray the Police institution in their movies and skits no matter how   demeaning because to do so will amount to the violation of their  fundamental rights  to freedom of expression .

It is however imperative for  the  people in the make believe world to understand that they are not permitted under the law to use or be in possession of police uniform , kits  and accoutrement  without the  authorization of the police . In fact it is a criminal offence to do so as expressed by the Inspector general of police and it is punishable under the law .

Having said that,  it is instructive  to note that there is nothing in our laws that prohibits movie makers and skit makers from preparing costumes depicting  the Nigerian police uniform for their business as long as it is not the police property which therefore  makes it a private property and the police consequently  cannot  arrest them  for owning a costume because the Nigerian constitution makes it  is clear that every Nigerian citizen have the right to own both  moveable and immovable property . As long as such uniforms are used as costumes for acting and are not used to impersonate the police or commit any  crime the police cannot arrest and prosecute  movie makers and skit makers because to do so will amount to the infringement of their constitutional right to freedom of expression and right to own property .

In view of the above,  I advice film and  skit makers to be law  abiding  and    not to    succumb to the   threat and  intimidation of the police to stop them from   exercising  their right to freedom of expression and right to own property .

The police naturally will be quick at ensuring prompt authorisation of all applications for approvals of usage of police items in movies and skits  which will portray the police in good   light  and will definitely refuse to grant the applications that  portray the police in  bad light . Once confronted with the later situation I advise   the affected film or skit maker to  prepare   it’s own police consume strictly for the make believe world and by so doing will not be offending the law .

Movie and skit makers must have it at the back of their minds that they do not have the liberty to portray the police in bad light without justification . In doing so they must the guided with the principles of truth , honesty and defence of  public interest.  The movie and skit makers have the licence  to tease , mock and criticize the  police while plying their trade because not even the President of Nigeria is free from their knocks as long as their contents are true , honest and in the interest of the public.

I  therefore urge Emmanuella and little Success., Nkem Owoh, Bishop Ime,Williams Uchemba, Brodashaggi and Officer Woos, Francis Otega and Funnybone, Aki and Pawpaw,  Eniola Badmus,   Mr Ibu ,  officer Eno Obong and other movie and skit makers  to continue with  their good works as law and not to allow themselves to be cowed .

 

Chief  (Barr) Malcolm Omirhobo a Lagos based Human Right Activist writes from Lagos

 

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