An investigation has been launched against a senior male commander of Nigeria's Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) after he was pictured cutting the hair of female employees as "punishment".

Regional Commander Andrew Kumapayi's actions attracted heavy criticism online after the images were posted on social media, where he can be seen holding a pair of scissors and cutting the hair of female employees during an inspection.

The inspection is reportedly conducted to check the uniforms, fingernails and hairstyles of female staff.

The incident occurred in the city of Port Harcourt on 10 April and the officer reportedly acted "outside" the organisation's directives.

According to the official mandate, female employees at FRSC need to "maintain a hairstyle that can be tucked into their beret". However, there is no mention of the length of the hair.

FRSC spokesman Bisi Kazeem said that a probe had been launched into the incident and the other officers involved had been summoned. He added that "appropriate sanctions" would be issued against those found guilty of misconduct.

Photographs of Kumapayi were first posted on the official FRSC Facebook page, however, it was taken down after people started expressing their anger, the BBC reported.

The post said that the commander was carrying out a "hair, uniform and fingernails inspection" of staff. Meanwhile, Lauretta Onochie, an aide to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the incident and said it was "humiliation of women".