If you have been following the stories of the victims of SARS, you will know that the more you know your right, the lesser the harassment.
Although we all pray and hope we never get to experience this horrible side of the men that are meant to protect us, we all should still know enough about the law, to be able to defend ourselves.
Not that the law will stop them from still going ahead to stress and extort you, but in the cases it goes to an extreme, at least you know if they are accting within their rights or stripping you of yours.
It’s simple, a police officer who breaks the law to suit his emotions at any given time, is most likely not acting for the Law.
Here are some of your human rights that should not be ignored.
- You cannot be arrested/ held accountable for a crime committed by someone else, no matter your relationship with that person.
- Only the law can declare you guilty no matter the offense, you are accused of.
- The police has absolutely no right to arrest you without first informing you of the alleged crime, you have been suspected to have committed.
- The police have no right to confiscate your property during a search; and you can claim damages if they do.
- A search warrant or an authorization letter must be presented to you if they need to do a search.
- Except for offenses punishable by death, you have the right to be offered FREE BAIL if you are not charged to court in 24 hours; or a maximum of 2 days in some cases. You should be offered bail, with or without a surety.
- It is your fundamental right not to be coerced into making a statement. And you can decide to wait for your lawyer before making or writing any statement as regards your arrest.
- While in detention, you have the right to see your family, your doctor and your lawyer.
- The police is liable to pay you for damages if they violated your right or unlawfully detain you.
Stay out of trouble, stay out of their ‘wahala’, deal with caution when you meet with them, and then; congratulations on knowing what you are entitled to, if you ever find yourself dealing with them.
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