The Nigeria Police Force has vowed to investigate and prosecute Abdulgafar Abiola, popularly known as “Cute Abiola,” for allegedly disrespecting the police uniform in comedy skits.
A statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi on Thursday said the comedian violated the provisions of the law “with regards to the use of uniforms”.
The statement read, “In as much as the law grants Nigerians the right to enjoy their fundamental human rights, the same law prohibits an individual, under whatever guise, from rubbishing the police institution or grossly violating its provisions with regards to the use of uniforms.
“We, therefore, vehemently condemn the contemptuous act displayed by comedian Abdulgafar Abiola, popularly known as “Cute Abiola,” in two recent skits posted on his social media handles on 20th and 24th July, 2023.
“The skits in question show a highly disrespectful and derogatory portrayal of the police uniform, an action that is in direct violation of Section 251 of the Criminal Code and Section 133 of the Penal Code Law. Such acts are not only offensive but also undermine the integrity and dignity of the men and women who wear the uniform in service to the nation.
“Abdulgafar Abiola will be investigated and possibly prosecuted for his deliberate acts as the NPF had already warned skit makers and filmmakers to desist from desecrating its uniform or accoutrements.
“The Force is committed to upholding the sanctity of the uniform and will pursue due legal process to ensure accountability for any individual or entity that seeks to bring disrepute to the uniform or the institution it represents.
“We call on all members of the public, including media personalities, to exercise their freedom of expression responsibly and avoid engaging in actions that could erode public trust in our revered law enforcement institutions.”
Cute Abiola is not new to controversy. In 2021, the comedian was declared missing by his fellow comedian, Debi Adedayo, aka Mr Macaroni who shared the news on his official Twitter account.
The message said the last time Cute Abiola’s wife and associates heard from him was on November 15, 2021.
However, the Nigerian Navy shared a press release stating that he was arrested and not missing.
They noted that the skit maker was under investigation for breaching the Armed Forces social media rule policy in the use of social media platforms.
The statement titled, ‘Cute Abiola is not missing-Navy’ and signed by Commodore, Suleman Dahun, read, “The attention of the Nigerian Navy has been drawn to an online newstory which claims that a naval personnel, OSCOMP Abdulgafar AA, who incidentally is a popular comedian known as Cute Abiola, has gone missing.
“The Nigerian Navy wishes to categorically debunk this false news report currently trending online.
“OSCOMP Abdulgafar is currently under custody in his unit for breaching the Armed Forces Social Media Policy and refusal to obey particular orders. The Nigerian Navy wishes to avail itself this incident to remind its personnel to comply with the provisions of the Armed Forces Social Media Policy in their usage of social media platforms.”
He was detained for over two weeks.
After he was released, the naval spokesman said Cute Abiola knowingly violated the armed forces’ social media policy but was given a light punishment of a “one-month extra duty” when he was tried for misconduct and indiscipline.