The Inspector General of Police,
Nigeria Police Force,
Force Headquarters,
Louis Edet House, Garki,
Dear Sir,


The Police or any investigating and or prosecuting agency do not have a blank cheque to invite citizens or establishments to its station on vague premises akin to an invitation to a voyage of discovery without relevant facts on what the discovery sought is about. 

A letter simply stating that a citizen of Nigeria or anybody corporate is invited to the police station or a sister agent facility in respect of a case the police or the sister agency is investigating and devoid of particulars, is wide, vague, mischievously encompassed, and capable of instilling fear and anxiety. It is evident that the recipient of such an inchoate invitation cannot prepare for an unknown case not specified with the least of details, it is likened to a market in the dark, it breaches the fair hearing requirements, and particularly makes rubbish of the hallowed principle of Audi Alteram Partem. These said invites runs contrary to Section 35, 36, and S. 46 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the extant provisions of the Police Act.

In KASAKI A. RAJI V. WEMA BANK PLC (2015) LPELR 41699 (CA), the court held that “what the Law simply requires for the rule on fair hearing to be satisfied is for the person likely to be affected by any disciplinary proceedings to be given adequate notice of the allegation against him so that he can adequately prepare for his defence.” The wordings of the notice need not be in the form of a formal charge in a Court of Law. It will therefore be sufficient if the complaint or notice sufficiently conveys to the person to be affected by its outcome, the nature of the accusation against him.

Once criminal allegations are made against a citizen, it is a constitutional duty of the Police to investigate, as investigation and detection of crimes are one of the primary duties assigned to the Police under Section 4 of the Police Act. See DOSOMAH vs COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, ED0 STATE (2014) LPELR 24497 (CA).

Although, it is generally not the business of the Court to fetter the discretion of the Police in the exercise of their power by virtue of sections 4 and 24 of the Police Act, to arrest any person upon reasonable suspicion of committing a crime. See FAWEHINMI VS. IGP (2002) FWLR (Part 1355)1376 1377; ONAH Vs. OKENWA (2010) LPELR-4781 (CA).

However, where the Police use their powers improperly, the citizen or individual involved is at liberty to approach the Court for redress, and the Court will not hesitate to declare any wrong action of the Police null and void if it is discovered that there has been an improper use of Police Power under the guise of the so-called exercise of the power of investigation and prevention of crimes. See OGUEJIOFOR & ORS VS. IBEABUCHT (2017) LPELR 43590 (CA). 

The Police authority should learn to conduct their affairs properly. The Police must learn to treat the citizenry with respect and dignity. Thus, where it is established that a citizen's right had been breached or violated or is about to be breached or violated, the Court is bound to protect such because the personal liberty of the citizen is guaranteed under Section 35 (1) of the Constitution and same is held as sacrosanct like every other right enshrined in Chapter IV of the Constitution. These rights are sacred and inalienable and that is why they are fundamental, the violation of which should be viewed as sacrilegious save in the manner the Constitution has recognized.

It will be very advantageous to the Police and to the Criminal Justice System if the Police or other Sister Agencies can state the particulars of the case being investigated by their esteemed office in respect of which the individual is being invited to their Facility, so as to enable the affected party's you seek cooperation with adequately prepare their own side of the matter if any. And such an invite should never be translated into an arrest warrant or arrest, thereby asking the said invitee to bail him or herself. This is wrong and has been the cause of citizens unwilling to cooperate with Police investigations.

Thanks in anticipation of a favorable change.

Olajide A. Abiodun Esq.
(Notary Public)

The Assistant Inspector General of Police,
Zone 2, Police Command,
Onikan, Lagos.

The Commissioner of Police,
Lagos State Police Command,
Ikeja, Lagos.
The Area Commander,
Ijede, Ikorodu, Lagos.

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