ABUJA, Nigeria – The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the wearing of mufti by police officers mounting checkpoints on highways.
The House on Thursday resolved to mandate its committee on Police Affairs to investigate the practice of policemen on highway duties not dressing properly.
This resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by Abdullahi Halims.
According to Halims, the practice could present opportunity to armed robbers to take advantage of unsuspecting citizens.
He argued that proper uniform and numbering of patrol vehicle will prevent armbushing.
“The policemen on highway patrol appear differently from one checkpoint to another as some do not wear any means of identification such as names tag, uniforms, berets, boots, etc; which makes it difficult for citizens to identify them, thereby on occasions, mistaking them for armed robbers.
“Some of the vehicles used by the policemen on highway patrols are neither properly painted in Nigeria Police colours nor are they properly numbered, thereby not providing ‘clear means of ascertaining the Police division they belong to,” he argued.
He argued further that “because of this uncertainty, men of the underworld often take advantage of the situation to ambushed unsuspecting Nigerians on the highways and rob them of their valuables, inflicting untold fear and sufferings and sometimes killing or kidnapping innocent people.
“If proper uniforms with identification tags are made compulsory for policemen on patrol and their patrol vehicles properly numbered, it would be easier for motorists and other road users to clearly differentiate miscreants from legitimate officers on highway patrol duties.”
Opposing the motion, Rotimi Agunsoye from Lagos called for caution, arguing that even armed robbers can wear uniforms to perpetrate crimes.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila noted that allowing the police in highways to wear mufti poses more threats than uniform.