Sep 16, 2017

10 Things some police officers don’t want you to know | Legalnaija

This is a list of laws that some police officers do not want you to know. Ignorance of these laws allows unscrupulous officers to take advantage of citizens. It is important that you learn the following provisions and share them with your friends and family members.

1.     Bail is free
Police Bail is free, the Inspector – General of Police has stated same over time and recently launched the bail is free campaign educating Nigerians to stop paying bail and to report any officer who demands bail.

2.     Upon arrest, you are liable to remain silent
Person arrested has a right to remain silent and to refrain from making a statement until consultation with a lawyer as stated further in Section 6 of the ACJA Act 2015; Section 35(2) 1999 Constitution

3.     When been questioned, you must have your lawyer present
A police officer or person making an arrest shall inform the suspect of his rights to remain silent or avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice. Section 6(2)(a) Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015)

4.     No one should be subject to torture or unlawful treatment
A suspect shall be accorded humane treatment, having regard to his right to the dignity of his person; and not subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Section 8, Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015); Section 34, 1999 Constitution.

5.     Upon arrest, suspect must be charged to court immediately
Where a suspect taken into custody in respect of a non-capital offence is not released on bail after 24hours, a court having jurisdiction with respect to the offence may be notified by application on behalf of the suspect. Section 32 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015)

6.     Police officer making an arrest must state reason
Except when the suspect is in the actual course of the commission of an offence or is pursued immediately after the commission of an offence has escaped from lawful custody, the police officer or other persons making the arrest shall inform the suspect immediately of the reason for the arrest”. Section 6, Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

7.     Suspect is innocent until proven guilty
Every suspect is entitled to a fair hearing and is deemed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution.

8.     No one can be arrested in lieu of another person
The law provides that a person shall not be arrested in place of a suspect. Meaning only the suspect can be arrested and not his parents, siblings, relatives or friends.

9.     Police cannot unlawfully search your phones
It is wrong for a police officer to stop you and demand to search your phones unlawfully.

10.                         Anyone unlawfully arrested is entitled to compensation
Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained shall be entitled to compensation and public apology from the appropriate authority or person; specified by law. Section 35(6) 1999 Constitution   

If your rights have been breached in relation to any of the laws mentioned above, you can make a formal complaint to the Police Complaint Commission via @PoliceNG_PCRRU or contact your lawyer.