For the third time in three years, Nigerian comedian and skit maker Abdulgafar Oluwatoyin, best known as Cute Abiola, has incurred the wrath of a Nigerian law enforcement agency as he stands the risk of being arrested over skit costume.
This time around, the Nigerian police are breathing down his neck because of what they describe as his disrespectful and derogatory portrayal of the police in his recent comedy skits.
Cute Abiola, in two recent videos posted on his Instagram page, Thursday and Tuesday, respectively, made a comedy satire of the Nigerian police begging for money from citizens while discharging their responsibilities amidst the hiked fuel prices.
His donning of the police uniform, apparently without permission, violates the Armed Forces Social Media Policy, which many Nigerian skit makers and comedians have disregarded in recent times.
The Nigeria police, in a press statement issued on Wednesday and signed by its PRO, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the comedian would be investigated and prosecuted for deliberately desecrating the police uniform in comedy skits.
The Nigerian police, in the statement, acknowledged the citizen’s fundamental human rights and warned against the unauthorised use of police costumes and other accoutrements. It is an offence punishable by section 251 of the Criminal Code and section 133 of the Penal Code Law.
The police statement reads, “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 regarding the use of uniforms.”
“We 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. This action violates Section 251 of the Criminal Code and Section 133 of the Penal Code Law. Such acts are offensive and undermine the integrity and dignity of the men and women who wear the uniform to serve the nation.
“Abdulgafar Abiola will be investigated and possibly prosecuted for his deliberate acts as the NPF had warned skit makers and filmmakers to desist from desecrating their 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 shame 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.”
This police statement is coming a few weeks after the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, warned content creators, movies and skit producers against using EFCC-branded jackets, symbols, insignia, and other accoutrements without authorisation.
This is not the first time Cute Abiola, formerly a Nigerian naval officer, would be in trouble with the forces for using military uniforms to make comedy videos.
In several recent skits on his Instagram page, Cute Abiola has consistently made comedy videos clad in Police uniforms and military attire.
Cute Abiola, who recently welcomed a son with his wife in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in June, has been arrested twice for violating the Nigerian Armed Forces Social Media Policy.
He was arrested in November 2021, where he spent over 10- days in naval custody, which later led to his dismissal from the naval force.
Again, he was arrested in 2020 after his birthday pictures in a naval uniform went viral. He was later released on 4 May 2020.
He often posts videos of himself clad in military uniform and wielding a gun.