The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has cleared the air on the controversy trailing a photoshopped picture of suspects posted on its official Twitter handle, @PoliceNG on Tuesday, saying the pictures were merged into one screen for a seamless understanding of the storyline.
This clarification is coming after the NPF was called out by Twitter users on Tuesday for merging pictures of suspects using the PicMix App, with the intent of deceiving the public.
The pictures in contention are those of 2 suspects, Duleji Alhaji Abubakar and Talatu Ibrahim, from whom six (6) AK49 rifles were recovered, as well as the re-arrested inmates who escaped from lawful custody at Oko Correctional Centre, Benin City, Edo State during the EndSARS protests.
Responding to the photoshop claim, the NPF said: “To set the record straight, in the case involving one Talatu Ibrahim, female, 40 years old from Shinkafi LGA, Zamfara State from whom six (6) AK49 rifles were recovered and one other, Duleji Alhaji Abubakar a.k.a Ori jeje who gets arms supply from her to carry out series of kidnapping and armed robbery in Kwara State, the pictures are authentic and true representation of the suspects and exhibits.
“However, the pictures were taken separately and merged into one screen for seamless understanding of the storyline. The arms showcased in the picture were the exhibits recovered by Police operatives from the suspects.”
With respect to the photo of the re-arrested inmates who escaped from lawful custody at the Oko Correctional Centre, Benin City during the EndSARS protests, the NPF noted that “one of the suspects, Alhaji Hudu Musa a.k.a Mai Cellular, had already been taken out for investigation purposes at the time the group picture was taken on 1st December 2020, a day after the public parade of the suspects.
“His picture was therefore taken separately and merged with the three others in the group picture for presentation purpose and to enable readers and viewers have a one-stop glance of the suspects in the story for easy follow-up and understanding.
The NPF added, “editing photographs only becomes unethical or condemnable if the purpose is to create non-existing facts, misrepresent the facts or engage in outright falsification of the images or figures for purposes of deception or other ulterior goals.”
These clarifications, however, raised more questions about the integrity of the Nigeria Police Force.