The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said in a statement titled, “(Part 2) Tips For Safe And Cordial Conducts During An Arrest” on Monday, that Nigerians have the right to search officers in selected circumstances.
According to him, if an officer is about to search a citizen or a property, the citizen has the right to first search the officer to ensure that no evidence is planted.
Mba also said Nigerians had the right to demand to know the reason for their arrest whenever an arrest was about to be made. The spokesman said in some instances Nigerians had the right to demand that an arrest warrant be presented before being arrested.
The statement read in part, “You may politely request that the officer be searched before searching you. Often times, this helps to allay fears that someone may be trying to plant incriminating items on you or implicate you in any other way.”
“Demand to see the warrant for arrest where necessary (note however that not every invitation/arrest requires a warrant). As a matter of fact, under our law, the police have wide powers to arrest without a warrant in many circumstances.”
“Politely request the officers to allow you inform a trusted friend or a family member or a lawyer soon after your arrest to avoid unnecessary apprehension about your whereabouts or safety.”
“If the arrest requires the officer to conduct a search on you, demand to see the search warrant and comply with all legitimate instructions during the search (note that there are a lot of instances where a policeman can search you with or without a warrant).”
The force told the public never to resist arrest even if it seemed unjustified.
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