Samuel Okolie: The illegality of police involvement in civil dispute: a vital space off for
There is a rising pattern in Nigeria, where folk involve the police in every roughly dispute, without working out that there would possibly per chance be a super chasm and distinction between civil cases and disputes which would possibly per chance per chance per chance be prison in nature. Some Nigerians along with some police officers most ceaselessly flip most civil issues into criminals topic.
These space of Nigerians, owing to their space in society, monetary powers, and their relationship (connection) with some police officers most ceaselessly eradicate undue serve of these privileges they want to intimidate, harass, and threaten their fellow citizen by turning issues which would possibly per chance per chance per chance be purely civil in nature to prison issues. They attain this by reporting cases which would possibly per chance per chance per chance be purely civil in nature to the police, and the police will out of palpable lack of files and along with this privileged Nigerians arrest, detain and in some cases, prosecute the melancholy harmless citizen in a topic that’s most ceaselessly civil in nature.
A prototypical example of such cases will doubtless be adumbrated right here: for example, Mr. A takes a mortgage from Mr. B, with an agreement to pay support the mortgage internal two month, however owing to inexplicable circumstances, Mr. A is unable to pay support the mortgage all the very top plan by plan of the agreed date, Mr. B, will then reviews the topic to the police, and the police will put collectively a case file of both stealing, obtaining by spurious pretence, or any other offence in opposition to Mr. A, whereas the topic is only a civil circulation that would now not require the involvement of police. These kinds of eventualities abound assuredly in our society, and neither the police authority nor the civil liberty group is doing indispensable about it.
The court docket in plethora of cases accumulate warned by distinction roughly actions, in Nzegbuna and Okoye (2018) ECAR437, the court docket held that refusal or failure to pay support a mortgage/debt even supposing a infamous in its bear lawful, can handiest be redressed by resort to civil circulation and now now not the involvement of the police, because the invitation of the police in a topic that’s purely civil in nature cannot be justified or authorized below any circumstance.
One other example of police involvement in civil circulation can furthermore be illustrated in tenancy issues 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 support in ejecting the tenant from his premises, or where a landlord with assistance from some police officer denies some tenant of their rights, cherish utilization of total utilities cherish electrical energy and water thanks to the tenant lack of ability to pay.
It is submitted that the tasks of police, as succinctly and lucidly supplied for in Part 4 of Police Act, CAP 359 Authorized pointers of the Federation of Nigeria, is for the prevention and detection of crime and would now not encompass the settlement of civil dispute or the sequence of debt or enforcement of civil agreement between events.
Samuel Okolie is a Lagos-basically basically based felony practitioner, email@example.com, 08066756987