A lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has petitioned the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, over the theft of his client’s phone during the #RevolutionNowprotests in the state on August 5, 2019.

Effiong, who is representing Elias Ozikpu, a participant in the protest, said police officers detailed to the venue stole his client’s mobile phone (HTC Desire 10 Pro) while arresting him.

Ozikpu through his lawyer is seeking full investigation into the matter and the police officers involved as well as claims by other protesters, who are yet to find their valuables after they were arrested.

The petition reads: “We are legal practitioners representing Comrade Elias Ozikpu on whose instructions and behalf we write this petition, and we shall subsequently refer to him as “our client”.

“Our client while participating in the peaceful protest on the 5th day of August, 2019 at the National Stadium vicinity, Surulere, Lagos, was arrested by officers of the Nigeria Police Force detailed to the venue where the peaceful protest was carried out. 

“In the course of effecting the arrest of our client, his mobile phone (HTC Desire 10 Pro) was forcefully taken away by one of the policemen. 

“Please find attached to this petition the pictorial evidence of the policemen that carried out the arrest of our client which also shows one of the officers that seized the mobile phone of our client holding it (marked as Appendix “A”).

“Our client in his statement to the police at the State CID, Panti, on the same date he was arrested, stated how one of the policemen forcefully took his mobile phone and despite entreaties that his phone should be returned to him, same has not been done till date. 

“Please find attached to this petition a pictorial evidence of our client with his phone during the peaceful protest (marked as Appendix “B”).

“It is apparent that the intention of the policeman that forcefully took our client’s phone is to deprive him permanently of the ownership and use of his phone and thus unscrupulously convert our client’s phone to his own property which in our respectful view amounts to robbery, punishable under Section 295 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

“The act of robbing our client of his property by a law enforcement officer is not only a crime punishable by law but also a grievous misconduct under the Police Regulations and Code of Conduct. 

“Such a misdeed which was carried out under the guise of arrest is reprehensible and should not be condoned under any circumstance.

“We humbly ask that a thorough investigation should be carried out with a view to unravelling the identity of the officer who robbed our client. 

“It is also our request that our client’s phone should be returned and the indicted officer be disciplined and prosecuted accordingly.”

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