Police Powers And Responsibilities And The Right And Duties Of The Citizens

POWERS OF POLICE
o Power to arrest of persons suspected of having committed an offence.
o Power to conduct bodily search of persons suspected of having committed an offence. This power can be exercised without warrant.
o Power to search premises. The law requires a warrant to be shown to the owner of the premises before his premises is searched and what to be searched for indicated.
o Power to investigate a crime without interference.
o Power to grant bail to persons suspected of having committed an offence (on bail able offence).
o Power to maintain law and order and use reasonable force to suppress the breakdown of law and order in the society.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CITIZEN
• To assist the Police in investigation
• To tell the Police the truth
• Not be rude to the Police
• Not to prevent a Police officer from performing his lawful duties
• Not to assault a Police officer or any law enforcement agent
• To report to the Police station whenever required to do so.
• To appear in court on the date specified on the bail bond, failure of which the bail will be revoked and a bench warrant issued for the arrest of the offender.

DUTIES OF POLICE
• A circumstance where a person can be arrested without a warrant of arrest is when seen committing an offence.
• The Police should tell the person arrested the reason for his arrest and / or detention.
• The Police can search premises only with a warrant signed by a superior Police officer or a Magistrate or a Justice of the peace.
• The Police can on reasonable suspicion conduct bodily search on a person without a warrant (the person carrying out the search shall be of the same sex with the person being search).
• The Police shall bring a suspect to court within one day of his arrest where there is a court, which is within 40 kilometers from the place of arrest/detention.
• Where the distance is more than 40 kilometers, the person shall be brought before the court within two days.
• The police have the responsibility to grant bail on simple offences. Such bail is free.
• Nevertheless, the Police may refuse bail, if you have no fixed address or you are charged with a serious crime like Murder and Armed Robbery, in such a case, the person must be charged to court.
• The police can use all reasonable force to arrest you, if you resist. Police have no legal basis to refuse to accept a woman as a surety for a suspect. All persons are equal before the law.

RIGHTS OF CITIZENS
• Right to insist on consulting a lawyer before giving any other information apart from personal data i.e name, address etc.
• Right to refuse to confess to something you have not done.
• Right to write out your statement personally if you are literate.
• Right to have an independent person of your choice to read the statement for you, if you are illiterate, before you thumb print.
• Right to refuse to sign the statement or even make one until you have you have consulted a lawyer.
• Right to ask for Police bail.
• If you are injured in the process of the arrest and detention by the Police, make a report to another Police station supported with medical report obtained from your doctor, and photographs of injuries sustained while in Police custody.
• It is against the law for the Police to physically assault or threaten or torture you.
• It is against the law for the Police to take your personal effects e.g. money, watch, documents without issuing a receipt for them. Insist on a receipt.
• It is against the law for the Police to demand for bribe or an inducement from you. If such occur, memorize or record the name and service number of the officer involved and report the matter immediately after your release to a lawyer or at another Police station or to a human rights organization.
• It is against the law for the Police not to tell you the reason why you are being detained or held in their custody.

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Article 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it is independent, trust, non-self governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6 
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7
All are equal before the law and entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination on violating the fundamental rights granted by any constitution or by law.

Article 8
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and by any criminal charge against him

Article 11
(1) Everyone charged with a panel offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the law in public trail at which has all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, not to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each States.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15
(1) Everyone has the right to nationality
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.

Article 17
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief. Either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest has his religion or belief in teaching, practice worship and observance.
Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent voting procedures.

Article 22
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each state, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the freed development of his personality.

Article 23
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for protection of his interest.

Article 24
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation Of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond the control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher educational shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

Article 27
(1) Everyone has the right to freely participate in the culture life the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interest resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedom, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedom of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

Article 30
Nothing in this declaration may be interpreted as implying for any state, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedom set forth herein.

UNITED NATIONS CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS 
Adopted by the General Assembly resolution 34/167 pf 17 December 179

Article 1
Law enforcement officials shall at all times fulfill the duty imposed upon them by the law, by serving the community and by protecting all persons against illegal acts, consistent with the high degree of responsibility required by their profession.

Article 2
In the enforcement of their duty, law enforcement officials shall respect and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons.

Article 3
Law enforcement officials may use force only when it is strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty.

Article 4
Matters of a confidential nature in the possession of law enforcement officials shall be kept confidential, unless the performance of the needs of justice strictly required otherwise.

Article 5
No law enforcement officials may inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, nor may any law enforcement official invoke superior orders or exceptional circumstance such as state of war, a threat of war, a threat to national security, internal instability or any public emergency as a justification of torture or other cruel, inhuman of degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6
Law enforcement officials shall ensure the full protection of the health of persons in their custody and, in particular, shall take immediate action to secure medical attention whenever required.

Article 7
Law enforcement officials shall not commit any Act of corruption. They shall also rigorously oppose and combat all such acts.

Article 8
Law enforcement officials shall respect the law and the present code. They shall also, to the best of their capacity, prevent and rigorously oppose any violations of them.

Law enforcement officials who have reason to believe that a violation of the present code has occurred or is about to occur shall report the matter to their superior authorities and, where necessary, to other appropriate authorities or organs vested with reviewing or remedial power Persons whose rights are violated are encouraged to send complaints to:

The Executive Secretary
National Human Rights Commission
14, Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama
P.M.B. 444, Garki-Abuja Nigeria.
Tel: 09-5239393, Fax: 09-523594,
OR
The Chairman
Police Service Commission
Federal Secretariat Phase 1, FCT Abuja
Call: 095238608, 6701838, 672144
Email: investigation@psc.gov.ng

You may also complain to the Commissioner of Police in your state over any violation of your rights by an official of the Police Force.

For further information on your rights in relationship to law enforcement, contact: Community Policing Partners for Justice Security and Democratic Reforms
44 Ikot Abasi Road, Oku Abak
Abak Local Government Area
P.O. Box 861 Abak 532101
Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
Tel: +234-806-668064, 802-3811786, 7088738308, 8099911146
Email: comppart@comppartfoundation.org, humanrightabak@yahoo.com
Website: www.comppartfoundation.org

5 Comments

  • Martin Moore
    Posted January 16, 2017 12:57 pm 0Likes

    I have real a lot about this, and it seems to be a real issue to collect the money for such a cause. Let’s fight it together!

    • Miki Williams
      Posted January 16, 2017 12:57 pm 0Likes

      I’m all for it 100%. We are stronger when we are united

  • Jhon Miller
    Posted January 16, 2017 1:00 pm 0Likes

    This story should be out there, for others to learn. Thank you guys!

    • Cindy Jefferson
      Posted January 16, 2017 1:01 pm 0Likes

      We do our best. Please stay in touch!

    • Mark Chapman
      Posted January 16, 2017 1:04 pm 0Likes

      Would love to be a part of your team!

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