The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has said Nigerians have the right to search its officers in select circumstances.
This was made known by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, in a statement on Monday titled, ‘(Part 2) Tips For Safe And Cordial Conduct During An Arrest.’
According to the Police, if an officer is about to search a citizen or a property, that citizen has the right to first politely search the policeman in order to ensure that no evidence is planted. He said:
“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.”
“If the arrest requires the officer to conduct a search on you, demand to see the Search Warrant and comply with all legitimate instruction during the search (note that there are a lot of instances where a policeman can search you with or without warrant).”
NPF also said Nigerians also have the right to demand to know the reason for their arrest whenever an arrest is about to be made.
“Demand to see the warrant of arrest where necessary (note, however, that not all invitation/arrest requires a warrant). As a matter of fact, under our laws, the Police have wide powers to arrest without warrant in many circumstances.”
“Politely request that the officers allow you inform a trusted friend or a family member or a lawyer soon after your arrest in order to avoid unnecessary apprehension as to your whereabouts or safety.
The Force spokesman further stated that in some instances, Nigerians have the right to demand that an arrest warrant is presented before allowing themselves to be apprehended.