Samuel Okolie: The illegality of police involvement in civil dispute: a major reason for
There is a increasing pattern in Nigeria, where of us possess the police in every roughly dispute, with out working out that there may perhaps be a monumental chasm and difference between civil cases and disputes which will most likely be felony in nature. Some Nigerians alongside with some police officers in most cases flip most civil issues into criminals matter.
These attach of abode of Nigerians, owing to their space in society, monetary powers, and their relationship (connection) with some police officers in most cases bewitch undue profit of these privileges they possess to intimidate, harass, and threaten their fellow citizen by turning issues which will most likely be purely civil in nature to felony issues. They form this by reporting cases which will most likely be purely civil in nature to the police, and the police will out of palpable lack of knowledge and alongside with this privileged Nigerians arrest, detain and in some cases, prosecute the dark innocent citizen in a matter that is in level of fact civil in nature.
A prototypical instance of such cases will most likely be adumbrated right here: to illustrate, Mr. A takes a loan from Mr. B, with an agreement to pay back the loan within two month, nevertheless owing to inexplicable cases, Mr. A is unable to pay back the loan in the course of the agreed date, Mr. B, will then reports the matter to the police, and the police will put together a case file of either stealing, acquiring by fake pretence, or any diversified offence in opposition to Mr. A, whereas the matter is exclusively a civil action that doesn’t require the involvement of police. These kinds of cases abound frequently in our society, and neither the police authority nor the civil liberty organization is doing great about it.
The court in plethora of cases possess warned in opposition to this roughly actions, in Nzegbuna and Okoye (2018) ECAR437, the court held that refusal or failure to pay back a loan/debt even supposing a spoiled in its possess criminal, can finest be redressed by resort to civil action and not the involvement of the police, because the invitation of the police in a matter that is exclusively civil in nature cannot be justified or permitted under any circumstance.
One other instance of police involvement in civil action will also be illustrated in tenancy issues where to illustrate, a tenant who’s owing arrears of hire for about two years or more is reported to the police by a recalcitrant and impatient landlord, the police could maybe aid in ejecting the tenant from his premises, or where a landlord with the aid of some police officer denies some tenant of their rights, like utilization of total utilities like electricity and water due to the the tenant inability to pay.
It is miles submitted that the tasks of police, as succinctly and lucidly supplied for in Piece 4 of Police Act, CAP 359 Felony pointers of the Federation of Nigeria, is for the prevention and detection of crime and doesn’t consist of the settlement of civil dispute or the sequence of debt or enforcement of civil agreement between occasions.
Samuel Okolie is a Lagos-basically basically based mostly criminal practitioner, email@example.com, 08066756987