Here in this post, we are going to discuss what to do when arrested by the police. We hope you find this informative and helpful.
I am sure the first thing that will register on your mind is to call a Lawyer.
While this may be a good guess for educated Nigerians, the vast majority of the unlettered populace would rather engage the arresting policeman in a heated argument.
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This is a very wrong move
The Nigeria Police Force has been recorded as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. The Nigerian Police Force has a good number of poorly trained personnel who knows nothing about their job description.
Most of them only know how to lay an ambush on our roads while waiting for motorist and taxi drivers to pounce upon.
This is why a quick glance on this article will open the minds of every Nigerian as to the options to elect when being confronted by a police officer.
The following is a guide on how to manage physical engagement with a police officer:
When accosted by a police officer or any other security agent:
1. Never Attempt To Run
The Nigerian policemen have been trained to presume that a person who is running from an arrest, is not just a suspect but a Criminal. You risk being shot in the process.
2. Identify Yourself
If you are a student or a public servant’ it is heroic you mentioned your qualifications before them. Tell them who you are and where you live.
3. Do Not Engage The Security Agent In A Heated Argument
Do not ever try arguing with a man with a gun. Even if the person is a Criminal’ be a good citizen and answer politely to his questions. Most policemen are unlettered’ you must not rub it in their faces.
4. Ask To Know The Reason For The Arrest Or Detention
If you are not arrested at the scene of a crime, ask to be shown the arrest warrant signed by a magistrate or a senior police officer. Any arrest without a duly endorsed warrant is illegal. This is a right you have as a citizen of Nigeria. It has legal backups.
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5. Try And Memorize The Officer’s Name, Badge Number, & The Patrol Vehicle Number
If they are in mufti, ask the arresting persons to identify themselves. While doing this’ it is advisable you do so without their knowledge. If in the eventuality that while executing a lawful/unlawful arrest’ you are maltreated’ all you need do is to make a report at the Police command near you. Every Nigerian police officer has his/her own unique badge number. Police officers dread a petition being called against them.
6. Take Photographs
If you are assaulted and wounded by the security agent, take photographs of the wounds and request first aid.
7. Try and identify witnesses at the scene of arrest or crime
8. Reach out to family, friends and your lawyer at the place of detention.
9. Anything you tell the police or security agent can be used against you and could land you in prison.
10. Remain Silent
Remain silent and do not volunteer any information, ask to make or sign a statement in the presence of your lawyer. Understand that you are presumed innocent of a crime until the contrary is proven at the court of law.
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11. You Need A Lawyer
The services of a qualified lawyer cannot be overemphasized. A Lawyer shall guide you through as to your cause of action in a case of illegal arrest.
A Lawyer shall direct you aright as to your Rights as a Nigerian citizen. A Lawyer may represent you in court in a case you wish to proceed against the arresting policeman officer for unlawful arrest’ or detention.
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