In Nigeria, anytime the police officers intend to arrest a suspect, and unfortunately for them, such a suspect was not at home when they came to the house, they may arrest any of the family member of such suspect, because they believe that, such suspect will be lured to their custody by the mere fact that they have detained his loved one(s).
This is not the only instance in which the Nigerian Police arrests another person on behalf of the suspect, the situation occurs in several ugly forms.
However, despite the fact that this is common practice, it’s essential to know that this is illegal under Nigerian laws.
The position of the law is that a person shall not be arrested in place of a suspect. Arresting a person instead of another person is known in law, as Arrest in lieu, and as stated earlier, is illegal.
Therefore, it’s clear as crystal that it’s illegal for the police to arrest a person in lieu of another. This practice amounts to a breach of fundamental human rights and the same gives the right to the person so arrested to seek compensation at the State High Court.
See Section 36 of the Police Act 2022.
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