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Police to vet film scripts – IG

By Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
Mike Okiro
Mike Okiro

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, has said that the police may have to vet the scripts of films produced in Nigeria, just as he expressed disgust at the indiscriminate use of police equipment by film producers.

Addressing senior police officers from the rank of commissioners and above at their monthly briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, Okiro said he was tired of the way policemen were being portrayed in some scripts as (moral) monsters.

The IG also said that he had slated a meeting with film producers for February 26, where issues concerning professionalism and how to curb the excesses of the producers would be discussed.

He said, “We are going to meet the film producers on this issue of usage of police uniforms and equipment in films produced in the country.

“The way and manner policemen are portrayed in these films do not relate to facts on the ground. Our policemen are courteous and responsible, and not the way they are represented in the films.

“We may have to insist on vetting scripts where policemen and equipment are to be featured, before we will give them permission to use our apparatus and uniform.”

But Okiro stunned the senior police officers when he told them that he did not know how two helicopters bought for the police by the Police Equipment Fund got missing.

The helicopters, which had been brought to the Eagles Square by officers of the fund and inspected by the immediate past IGP, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, were said to have been procured by the Fund from Ukraine.

Okiro said he was also part of the team that inspected the helicopters when they were brought to the Eagles Square, and that he, like other officers, was surprised that the helicopters got missing afterwards.

He said he was sure that they were not brought to the Police Headquarters and were therefore not handed over to the police.

Okiro also directed that enough police officers be assigned to the film makers anytime they go on raids of film and video pirates.

He said, “This is the only way we can make sure that the market is rid of fake and adulterated films and videos.

“Give them enough men because the producers of these fake products are also ready to combat those who would want to send them out of (their illegal) business.”

On the issue of suspects, Okiro directed all investigating police officers to learn to respect the fundamental human rights of suspects, adding that he had it on good authority that many investigating police officers (IPOs) were guilty of violating suspects' rights.