Daily Law Tips (Tip 350) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

12 SITUATIONS WHERE POLICE OFFICERS CAN ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT.

A police officer needs a warrant of arrest (authority) to be able to arrest a person but there are few situations where a police officer can arrest any person without a warrant of arrest/court order.

Below are situations where a police officer can arrest any person without warrant of arrest/court order;

1. Where a police officer reasonably suspects that a person has committed an offence against any law in Nigeria or outside Nigeria. And that the law creating such offence does not prohibit an arrest without warrant.

2. Where an offence is committed in presence of a police officer not minding that such offence is one that requires a warrant of arrest for an offender to be arrested.

3. Where a person obstructs a police officer or escapes or attempts to escape from lawful custody.

4. Where a person is in possession of a reasonably suspected stolen thing or a person is reasonably suspected of committing an offence with respect of such thing.

5. Where a person is reasonably suspected of being a deserter from any of the armed forces of Nigeria.

6. Where a person is reasonably suspected of having committed an offence outside Nigeria, an offence that is also an offence in Nigeria and there is also a law in Nigeria that allows such person to be arrested and detained in Nigeria.

7. Where a person is in possession of an implement of housebreaking, car theft or firearms or offensive weapon without lawful excuse.

8. Where a person is believed to be one of whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by a competent court in Nigeria.

9. Where a person is reasonably suspected of trying to conceal himself in order to commit an offence.

10. Where a person’s warrant of arrest has been issued by a court, Justice of peace or superior police officer.

11. Where a person is reasonably suspected of designing/planning to commit an offence, an offence for which arrest can be made without a warrant of arrest and the offence itself cannot be prevented.

12. Where a person is required to appear by a public summon issued in accordance to any law.

My authorities are sections 18, 494 and 495 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and other similar laws across States in Nigeria.

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