The Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi– Lagos; has taken cognizance of a news item by The PUNCH Newspaper captioned “Power-Drunk SFU Policemen Manhandle PUNCHman, Seize Phone, ID Card” which is currently making the rounds on the social media.
2. It is disheartening to note that rather than the Punch Newspaper to reprimand its reporter for his unprofessional conduct, it attempted to twist the facts by playing to the gallery in order to whip up public sentiments.
3. Ordinarily, the Unit would not have dignified the said publication with a response but it is pertinent to set the record straight so as to prevent the public from being fed with total misinformation as this will portends a disservice to members of the public.
4. In furtherance to this, the Unit wishes to reiterate as follows;
On Wednesday 29th December, 2021; one Toni Ufoh, who later claimed to be a reporter with The Punch Newspaper was spotted by Security/Surveillance cameras and Personnel attached to the Unit. He was observed to be taking pictures of personnel and visitors to the Unit, video-recorded the activities within the Unit for (close to an hour) and even conducted interviews of complainants in a case under investigation. All these were done without obtaining authorization from the management of the Unit or the simple courtesy of liaising with the office of the Public Relations Officer in this regard as would be expected from a trained journalist or reporter. This disdainful act is in total disregard for professional ethics in dealing with a regimented organization such as Special Fraud Unit and the Nigeria Police Force.
5. Contrary to training and professional ethics expected of a reporter attached to a reputable Newspaper such, the reporter deliberately deviated from standard procedure (that governs existing collaboration between the Unit and the Press) and violated the sanctity/security of the unit by not reporting to the office of the PPRO who will liaise with the Unit’s Management to ensure that the usual necessary cooperation is extended to him in order to carry out his assignment.
6. It is worthy of note that since the EndSars protest and its attendant attacks/killings of Policemen, destruction of Police facilities and the recent spate of jail breaks; the Inspector-General of Police has directed that robust vigilance and security be emplaced to protect all Formations/Facilities against further attacks so as to prevent loss of lives and breakout of suspects in custody.
7. The general public and members of the press are therefore enjoined to discountenance the face-saving twist that the Punch Newspapers is flaunting against the security men attached to the Unit as this clearly represents a misinformation meant to play down the professional misconduct of its untrained reporter.
8. While reiterating the commitment, professionalism and dedication of all personnel of the Unit towards diligent investigation and prosecution of cases, the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit; calls on public to continue refuse to be deceived by false and malicious publications.
Compliments of the Season.
DSP. EYITAYO JOHNSON
POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER,
FOR: COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, SPECIAL FRAUD UNIT, IKOYI – LAGOS.