Tuesday, 21 July 2015


Have you ever heard the statement “Police is your friend”? 

If that doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you may be familiar with the phrase “Bail is free!”

Many of us wish those words were true; because if they were to be so, you probably would have no need to know what the law says in conceivable situations that may arise when dealing with the police. 

It may even be safe to assume that you probably stumbled on, or you were referred to this article because of the need to have a careful dealing with the Police. YES! You can have a warm dealing with the police even if they try to terrify you… You only have to know the magic wand that unsettles them in appropriate situations…


Don’t argue with the Police as the Police ought to be treated with respect. Besides, some cases of police brutality are as a result of intoxication so you must be careful not to start an argument that may ginger a shoot out.

Don’t argue/insist on your rights when you are facing an armed police. Leave the job of arguing those rights to your lawyer because human rights are meaningful only when a man is alive.

In the event that you are arrested, don’t be pressurised into answering any question, only insist on your right to remain silent until after consultation with your lawyer or any other person of your choice. Simply say I wish to remain silent until I consult with my lawyer.

A police may lawfully shoot in reasonable circumstances where a person resists lawful arrest, so, don’t run, or resist arrest when a police approaches or halts you.

It is lawful for police to use force in appropriate/ reasonable situations to suppress riot, insurrection, or mutiny, so, don’t be involved in riot, insurrection, or mutiny, and avoid any environment where either is ongoing.


Do put your hands up when a police instructs you to do so. Explanations can be saved for later, and an attempt to bring out your identification card or anything at that may make the police fire a shot.

Do notify the police of your willingness to assist when invited for interrogation, only make sure that you take your lawyer along to the Police Station when invited.

If you are stopped for questioning, do answer introductory questions only, be polite but firm in your response. Where a search is to be conducted on your car, insist on opening any portion that is to be searched, and personally supervise the search. Where a search is to be conducted on your body, try hard to make sure that a neutral person is available to witness the search.

Being at the police station may make you get panicky and whatever you say may be used against you in the court of law, do exercise your right to remain silent and the right to speak with a lawyer before you involve yourself in any conversation (written or oral). Simply let the police know that you wish to see your lawyer first before saying or writing anything.

You may have started dealing with the police in an uncalculated manner, or you may be at the verge of dealing with the police, your safest bet is to consult your lawyer immediately, so, do consult your lawyer without any delay.

* EYITAYO OGUNYEMI is an Associate at Falana & Falana’s Chambers. He is the initiator of “The People’s Parliament”- a forum committed to imparting the society with the knowledge of their constitutional rights and duties. Eyitayo is passionate about instilling legal knowledge in the masses and is a core Advocate for a knowledge based economy. Questions may be addressed to +234-806-0623-454 or eyitayoogunyemi@gmail.com