My right to Personal Liberty (Introduction)

  • Introduction

Right to personal liberty na ogbonge right wey every pesin must to enjoy o. This na right to do any good thing wey you wan do and where you no need to ask anybody for permission or dey fear.

Na this kind right give you freedom to do any good thing wey you like. E fit be marriage, you born pikin, you want get job, you want to waka around, you want to get house, worship.

Section 35(1) of our Constitution talk sey:

 

Ne every pesin get liberty right and no pesin go fit sey make you know enjoy am. But if you don do something wey law don talk sey make you no do, pesin fit no enjoy personal liberty fully.

 

Before dem go deny pesin this right, dat mean sey the pesin don do bad things wey law talk sey if anybody do, make dem arrest am, carry am go court.

 

Who fit arrest pesin?

Na police get power to arrest pesin because na dem dey arrest people wey dey do bad (commit crime). We dey tell dem police sey there power to arrest no be to dey use am harass innocent people .

People wey no be police like you and me fit arrest person around us if police no dey around. But if we arrest pesin wey don commit crime, we no get power to beat or kill the pesin because na suspect the pesin be and e fit be innocent. Make you no go luck am for your domot at all. Carry am go the nearby police station wey dey your area. Police go handle the matter well as law take talk am. But if you think sey some police go do magomago, you fit tell us make we report the mata for the state police command wey the mata take happen. Dem Oga go make sure sey the mata go smooth as law take talk am. No kill person or beat am o! The reason be sey people wey get bad belle for another dey always do wayo to get back at others. For example, some get habit to dey shout ‘thief’ thief untop people wey dem get kuanta with so that people around go fit kill take dem for thief and kill dem. Plenty pesin wey no do any bad thing don die untop wetin dem no do because some people no like dem and come dey hide under this kind strategy.

If you go kill person because dem call am thief, na you go face the wahala as dem fit kill you too if court confirm sey na true you follow people kill pesin.

If dem wan arrest person, dem suppose use force/handcuff and arrest warrant?

Na the rule be dis. If dem wan arrest pesin, dem fit touch am make he no run because ordinary talk fit no do am with some strong and aggressive people. But if pesin wey dem dey arrest agree and no proof stubborn, police no need to use force.

Police must tell pesin wey dem arrest the reason why dem take arrest am. But dem fit not tell am if he go escape or no go gree make dem arrest am.

Another paper dey wey dem dey call arrest warrant. This powerful paper dem dey take arrest pesin. But if officer dey see person wey just commit offence for im presence, he fit arrest the pesin without warrant of arrest becos if e wan go collect the warrant first before he get fit arrest the pesin, that pesin go don run comot. But where arrest warant dey, police must show am to the pesin wey dem wan arrest. The officer fit use sensible force if the pesin e wan arrest dey proof stubborn but if na minor matter and the pesin dey obey the police officer, the officer no suppose use handcuff.

If dem use warrant to arrest pesin, the warrant don expire be dat o. Dem no go fit use the same warrant again to arrest the same pesin.

Make we nack you this one, police, court officer, or any person fit arrest pesin wey don or dey commit offence without warrant even if law sey make dem use warrant. For example, if anybody go kill person now, police no go say because e go need warrant come leave the pesin make e escape and come dey find warrant of arrest up and down.

If dem arrest me self, dem fit throw me anywhere?

Any pesin wey dem arrest either with or without warrant of arrest, dem suppose take the pesin go nearby police station sharp sharp. If you no be police but come arrest pesin wey don commit crime, no waste am at all. Carry am go police station we deay near for your area. No put am for you house else, e fit become another gbege for you o.

We no be police o. We fit arrest, beat beat anybody or kuku kill pesin wey don do bad thing for area (Jungle Justice)?

People wey no be police like you and me fit arrest pesin around us if dem police no dey around. But if we catch person wey done do or wan do bad, we no get power to beat or kill the pesin because na suspect the person be and e fit be innocent. No go luck the suspect for your domot. Carry am go the nearby police station wey dey your area. Police go handle the matter. But if you think sey police go do magomago, tell us make we report the matter for the state police command wey the matter take happen. No kill any suspect or beat am o. The reason be say people wey get bad belle for another dey always shout theief theif untop people wey dem get kwanta with so that people around go fit kill those wey dem get kuanta with. Plenty pesin wey no do any bad thing don die untop wetin dem no do because some people no like dem and come dey hide under this kind strategy.

If you go kill person becos dem call am thief, na you go face the wahala as dem fit kill you too if court see sey na true you follow people go kill pesin.

Wetin be my rights self for police station if dem arrest me?

Police fit arrest any pesin or invite anybody come police station. But make we yarn you sey make you no dey panic if you get invitation to the police station. You still get many rights as you dey go police station so and a good police officer go know sey you get rights as you still be innocent. All rights we you get for police station or if dem arrest pesin na weting we explain below for you:

  1. Right to bail – Constitution don provide right to bail for every suspect weda dem go give you condition or not, even if dem go still carry you go court. The constitution talk sey dem must to release accused at least within a day or two days we dem don am.
  2. Right wey give somebody access to a lawyer wey e want – Pesin wey dey police station get right to a lawyer wey e want and dem must not deny am. The reason be sey, the accused get right not to talk or write statement or answer question for police station until e see im lawyer. E dey illegal make police they force accused to talk if e de wait for im lawyer.
  • Right wey no gree make dem abuse or cause injury for pesin. Police dem no get right to dey beat pesin or dey wipe people with koboko, or dey punch pesin especially when the pesin no dey resist arrest.
  1. Dem must tell the suspect the reason why dem dey arrest am. If dem detain pesin and dem not tell am his offence, na illegal arrest.
  2. Another right wey accused pesin get be sey, dem must to carry am go police station after dem don arrest am and dem must all am get access to his lawyer all the time.
  3. Dem must to bring am to court if dem wan trial am on time. Any detention wey dey above 24 hours suppose get court aproval.
  • If dem must to carry pesin go court, the only condition be sey the pesin suppose don commit offence wey our law call and mention as offence. such offence, dem must write am for our sey if pesin do this and this, the name of the offence na this. Our law must to list the offence and punishment for the offence. if dem sey you don commit offence and the offence no dey recognize for allow, abeg call your lawyer sharp sharp.

 

Wetin I suppose know if dem police sey make I write statement

If dem police ask you sey make you write statement, you suppose know how to write one wey no go carry you enter double wahala if your lawyer no dey there.

You need ask yourself sey on top wetin dem invite me to come write statement. Dem invite you as accuse or witness? Becos if pesin go fall into the hands of some wrong officers eventhough some police offers good and professional, dem fit use the statement to blackmail you. You must to take statement wey you wan write as a serious business.

Remember sey you get right not to write am if your lawyer no dey station, some fit shakara you and cause fear for your mind sey dem no go release you.

To write am no hard. Make sure sey wetin you wan put down na something wey you kow untop the mata wey make dem  invite you to police station or if na be sey dem arrest you. E dey very important make you know the reason why or wetin bring you come police station.

If you no dey sure about wetin bring you come, ask the officer, oga, why una take invite me come station.

If dem sey you no commit any offence sey them just want make you write anything wey you know untop any mata, tell them with respect say No.

If dem arrest you becos somebody write petition against you, abeg demand for the copy of the petition wey dem write against you,and read am carefully before you write your statement.

When you start dey write am, make sure sey you explain the reason for why dem say make you write ya statement inside the statement. Make I give you example here. You fit start am like this:

“Dem police stop me as I dey drive my vehicle wey get registration number xxxxx on ________ street in _______ city. After I com show to officer xxxxxxx all my papers, dem come take me to the police station and come yarn me sey dem suspect sey I steal my car”

Then make ya statement and put wetin make dem carry you come police station and offence weY deM sey them suspect sey you commit if you find ya self for situation where lawyer no dey and you must to write the statement urgently.

Now, if third or another pesin read your statement, it suppose dey clear and make sense to am wetin bring about the statement. If you no state wetin happen in your statement to relate well well with your case, dem fit change your case. As you think say dem wan charge you for car theft so, you fit go appear appear for kidnapping matter as one caller share im experience on our weekly #KnowYourRightsNigeria radio programme in Lagos. If a judge dey read your statement for kidnapping case and you know write am make e dey related to to car tefth wey dem police accuse you, the Judge fit think you dey dodge the matter that you no wan answer the question. The judge fit form a negative opinion about you on top your statement because you no explain am clearly and relate am directly or the statement no get end.

I get right to bail wey go commot me from cell/prison?

Na everybody get right to bail. E fit be:

  1. a) Bail from Police station
  2. b) Bail wen matter don dey court
  3. c) Bail wen mater dey Appeal

 

Bail from Police station:

Constitution don provide right to bail for every suspect weda dem go give you condition or not. Even if dem go still carry pesin go court, dem must to release am at least within a day or two days after dem don arrest am.

Police fit grant bail to pesin on self recognition or dem fit sey make he go bring people we go stand for am as surety. Dem fit ask surety to pay money as a BOND which go make dem report for station later day. This one no be bribe o. Na bond wey the surety go collect back after dem see sey the acusse no run away.

If to sey the gbege wey happen na serious one wey pass police dem to release the suspect, dem police must to charge pesin go court between 24 and 48 hours after dem don put am for detention. The court don talk sey if police arrest pesin and dem still wan carry out more investigation ontop the matter, dem must to relese the person for bail or make dem charge am to court within 24 hours.

Abeg no forget, after dem don charge the pesin go court, police dem no get power to release the pesin again. Na only court go fit grant the pesin bail.

 

Bail wen matter dey court:

Court get power to give pesin bail. Wetin we must know be sey, the level of bad thing wey dem sey pesin do, na im go determine if dem go fit give am bail. At this level, the pesin go need a lawyer.

 

 

MAGISTRATE’S COURT

Magistrate court get power to grant pesin bail[1], but if na strong thing the pesin do wey be sey if dem confirm sey na e do am, it fit land am for 3 years jail, magistartae court fit no wan grant am bcos if na simple trouble now, dem fit give am bail.[2]

 

HIGH COURTS

This ogbonge court get power to grant pesin baill ontop all mata. Make we hear now sey if pesin do strong yamayama thing like killing, armed robbery dem, court no fit grant bail o.[3]

But if the pesin talk sey he need bail, he go need to show court sey the reason why e need bail dey very important reach level wey if dem no give am, na bad thing dem do am[4] . Common example na when pesin dey sick seriously and if dem no allow am go treat himself, the pesin fit die.

 

Before court go grant bail, the court go dey sure of all thing wey we wan explain now:

  1. a) if dem grant am bail, e fit try to spoil investigation?
  2. b) e fit escape.
  3. c) if dem release am, e fit go do bad thing?

 

The ogbonge court wey big pass for Nigeria wey we dey call Supreme Court come talk sey if dem wan give pesinn bail, dem must to look the mater like this[5].

a)make court look the offence wey the pesin commit and punishment wey dem suppose give am weda na strong one or not.

  1. b) the kain trouble wey dem sey the person cause, make court look at evidence wey dem get if na strong one
  2. c) if the pesin no go dey spoil investigation after dem don release am.
  3. d) how the crime wey pesin commit take happen
  4. e) if dem release am, it fit constitute danger for the pesin himself.
  5. f) The pesin fit gocommit same offence if dem release am
  6. g) if the pesin don dey do bad thing tey tey. Na here dem go wan know if the pesin na good man or na so so he dey cause trouble for area.
  7. h) weda the pesin dey sick.

If the pesin dey talk sey make dem relase am ontop sey e dey sick, make e no come go lie bcos court go sey make the pesin show wetin we wan explain now:

  1. the sickness na kind one wey strong wey go fit affect other people wey dey detention with am.
  2. Ogbonge doctor don bring report sey the sickness na true and the sickness fit affect others.
  • Dem no get facility around wey dem go take treat the pesin wey dey sick for detention

[1] See Sections 118 (1) & 341 (1) of the CPA and CPC

[2]See generally Sections.118 CPA;  340& 341 CPC.

[3]See Section. 341 (1) of the 1999 Constitution

[4]See Section 341 (3) CPC. and Abacha Vs The State (2002) FWLR (pt.98) 863 @ 881.

[5]Bamaiyi Vs. The State (2001) 4 SCNJ 103,

Wetin I go fit get we go do me well (Sweet my Belle) if dem arrest me or put me for detention for wetin I no know

If dem arrest person anyhow, put am for detention for wrong way as Constitution no talk am, the person get right to take action. Wetin pesin go get fit be money if the pesin suffer. People wey arrest am fit beg and apologise to am wey members of the public go confirm sey dem don apologise if the matter na small one.

You fit sue anybody wey go arrest you wrongly but you go need a lawyer to helep you o.