The Lagos State Police Command has warned pranksters that they will be in soup if caught.
Benjamin Hundeyin, the command spokesman, said the pranksters risk being charged with assault if they are reported or caught disturbing public peace.
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“Anybody who assaults another person or disturbs public peace will be arrested. However, the Lagos State Police Command has not received any complaint in that regard. It means Lagosians are okay with it; that is if such things actually take place in the state. If we get reports about this, we will swing into action.
“Beyond that, if we see anybody disturbing the peace, such person would be arrested, even if no one makes a complaint. In the event that we have not spotted such persons, the next best thing is for members of the public to report such incidents.
“I must also state that assault does not have to involve physical contact. If a person acts as if they want to slap one and one gets scared, that can be classified as assault, according to the laws of the land,” he told Saturday Punch.
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Pranksters have always received knocks on social media for scaring and embarrassing unsuspecting members of the public. In some cases, they pretend a random passer-by has been caught in a ritual rite. Some even directly harass passers-by, claiming they are assassins sent after them and only reveal it’s a prank when things get out of hand.
In some cases, fleeing persons have had accidents while the pranksters are forced to bear the medical bills.
Medical practitioners have also warned that pranksters may cause death in cases where persons being pranked have underlying ailments like hypertension.
In another case, a prankster pushing his luck with a soldier was seriously beaten after he seized the soldier’s cap.