Multiple sources in the police headquarters in Abuja on Monday told our correspondents that the police authorities were in a dilemma on how to enforce Malami’s directive.
One of the sources, who is a senior police officer, said, “Honestly, it is not something the police authorities will want to dabble into. Do you expect the police to begin to arrest these prominent Nigerians who you have mentioned because they are using Twitter?
“You know that policemen are already the ‘whipping boys’ of the Nigerian society always. Do you expect us to add this to our burden?”
Another police officer confided in one of our correspondents that the police authorities were not favourably disposed to being involved in the enforcement of the suspension, saying the Office of the AGF would do so.
When reminded that before the Office of the AGF could prosecute, the police would have to first arrest the suspects, the source said, “I am not aware of any plan to arrest anybody.
“In any case, it is not the police alone that can arrest offenders. For instance, are officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps not empowered to arrest?”
The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, did not take his calls when The PUNCH made several attempts to speak with him on Monday.
He has yet to return the calls or respond to the text message sent to him on the matter as of the time of filing this report.
Malami’s spokesman, Umar Gwandu, also did not respond to enquiries on the matter on Monday.
Arresting, prosecuting Twitter offenders not our job –NCC
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said that it is not within its purview to arrest and prosecute violators of the suspension order.
Recall that in the Saturday statement, Malami had directed the Director of Public Prosecution to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, the NCC and other relevant government agencies “to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay.”
But when contacted on Monday on how far the NCC had gone in collaborating with the DPP to prosecute offenders, the Director of Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said it was not within the power of the commission to arrest or prosecute.
“The NCC is a regulator. It is not within our power to arrest or prosecute. Based on our statement, we limited ourselves based on the order given to us by the government, which was to instruct the operators to disconnect, which was what we did. So, the other aspects are not within our purview,” Adinde said.
SOURCE : PUNCH