‘Police is your friend’ is a popular slogan we hear everywhere we go; but how true is that statement? When a policeman attacks or abuses someone he was supposed to protect according to the constitution, can he still be described as a friend? One of the basic problems that normally arise between the men in uniform and civilians is the seemingly lack of trust. Nigerians for instance, fear anyone they see in the uniform, and sometimes shivers even when he or she hasn’t done anything wrong.
Some men in uniform have also taken the fear civilians have for them for granted by infringing on their rights and going to the extreme to show they have ‘power.’ When a policeman slaps or hits a civilian for whatever reason best known to him; no one tries to ask questions sometimes for fear of being attacked as well. Now does it mean that a man in uniform has the right to slap or intimidate a civilian for arguing or for whatever reasons?
How do you react to being molested or verbally or physically assaulted by the police? Do you feel intimidated or try to make a formal complain to superior authorities or call your lawyer?
Whether you have broken any law or not, does a policeman have the right to slap or hit you? What does the constitution say about such issues? Does the constitution protect the citizen against such abuse?