Inibehe Effiong, the National Legal Adviser at African Action Congress – AAC and PRINCIPAL COUNSEL/HEAD OF CHAMBERS at Inibehe Effiong Chambers has extended his support to the artist and comedian, Cute Abiola after he garnered controversy for doing a skit. In his skit he was dressed in the clothing of the national police force.
The police force intends to persecute him for disrespecting the official uniform of the police force. Accordingly, Cute Abiola expressed his sipport to the artist and creator. The law practitioner took to his social media account to share his views. In this case of Cute Abiola’s skit on “police uniform”, I disagree entirely with you, the Force PRO.
He clarified his views on the same. He stated The case is more complex than the Force PRO wants the public to believe.
The artist meant to use the skit for entertainment. Entertainers use military and police uniforms globally for their art and craft. Using a ‘police uniform’ in an act for entertainment cannot bring contempt to that uniform.
If what’s demonstrated in the skit truly reflects what the police are known for, you will have a hard time proving this case.
The skit maker may want to call up to 1000 witnesses to testify that the skit is a true reflection of the police. He may argue that the skit is their true mode of operation and that they did not find it contemptuous of the uniform.
It is the opinion of the police that the court will use to determine whether the skit brought contempt on the uniform. That is not how the law works, and you may soon find this out.
This case you want to pursue may end up exposing the police to further public ridicule and judicial rebuke.
By the way, the said offence is a simple offence. The punishment for the same is only three months imprisonment or a fine of forty Naira.
Suppose the Magistrate Court even agrees with your argument. In that case, they may impose a fine. However, he stated, a forty Naira fine will not improve the revenue of the police or the federal government.
Rather than dissipate your energy trying to fight skit makers for depicting the police in a way you’re not comfortable with, you should use that energy to curtail the menace, lawlessness and wanton corruption of policemen whose endless abuse of power is what has brought the uniform and the Force into contempt.
By the way, you will have to define what constitutes a “police uniform” as provided for by law. Further, he demanded that police also prove beyond reasonable doubt that what Cute Abiola wore in the skit is a police uniform. It is not as simple as ABC. Law is not a joke. Criminal Litigation is not a skit.