Samuel Okolie: The illegality of police involvement in civil dispute: a fundamental cause for
There is a rising trend in Nigeria, where of us own the police in each and every roughly dispute, with out figuring out that there is a immense chasm and inequity between civil cases and disputes that are criminal in nature. Some Nigerians in conjunction with some police officers usually flip most civil matters into criminals topic.
These self-discipline of Nigerians, owing to their express in society, financial powers, and their relationship (connection) with some police officers usually take undue merit of these privileges they want to intimidate, harass, and threaten their fellow citizen by turning matters that are purely civil in nature to criminal matters. They arrangement this by reporting cases that are purely civil in nature to the police, and the police will out of palpable lack of recordsdata and in conjunction with this privileged Nigerians arrest, detain and in some cases, prosecute the downhearted harmless citizen in a topic that is totally civil in nature.
A prototypical instance of such cases will doubtless be adumbrated right here: for instance, Mr. A takes a mortgage from Mr. B, with an settlement to pay relief the mortgage within two month, but owing to inexplicable conditions, Mr. A is unable to pay relief the mortgage within the agreed date, Mr. B, will then reports the topic to the police, and the police will prepare a case file of either stealing, obtaining by incorrect pretence, or every other offence against Mr. A, whereas the topic is purely a civil action that does no longer require the involvement of police. These forms of eventualities abound frequently in our society, and neither the police authority nor the civil liberty group is doing mighty about it.
The court docket in plethora of cases bear warned by inequity roughly actions, in Nzegbuna and Okoye (2018) ECAR437, the court docket held that refusal or failure to pay relief a mortgage/debt although a downhearted in its dangle interesting, can easiest be redressed by resort to civil action and no longer the involvement of the police, because the invitation of the police in a topic that is purely civil in nature can no longer be justified or authorized beneath any circumstance.
One more instance of police involvement in civil action can additionally be illustrated in tenancy matters where as an illustration, a tenant who’s owing arrears of rent for roughly two years or extra is reported to the police by a recalcitrant and impatient landlord, the police will relief in ejecting the tenant from his premises, or where a landlord with the help of some police officer denies some tenant of their rights, admire utilization of customary utilities admire electricity and water on myth of of the tenant incapacity to pay.
It is submitted that the tasks of police, as succinctly and lucidly equipped for in Portion 4 of Police Act, CAP 359 Guidelines of the Federation of Nigeria, is for the prevention and detection of crime and does no longer consist of the settlement of civil dispute or the series of debt or enforcement of civil settlement between parties.
Samuel Okolie is a Lagos-essentially based honest practitioner, email@example.com, 08066756987