Daily Law Tips (Tip 580) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

WHAT IS THE FATE OF THE FIRST PERSON TO REPORT A CASE TO POLICE?

Is the first person to report a case to the Police always right? Is the police bound to take, accept and believe the testimony of the first person to report a case? Is it possible that the first person to report a case is the guilty person? Below are the words of the Supreme Court on these issues:

“Apart from the power vested in the Police for the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension of offenders, I am not aware of any law which stipulates the order in which investigations are to be carried out. The appellant is indirectly saying that since his son was the first to lodge the complaint, the Police should not look in any other direction to fish out the suspected robbers ….. In other words, he is invoking the principle of ‘first in time takes precedence’ to be applied in the investigation of the robbery. I am afraid I cannot go along with the appellant in this rather bizarre submission.
Often times the perpetrator of a crime may be the first to report the commission of the crime in the hope that he could divert the attention of the Police away from himself. A person who is the first to report a case to the Police could well turn out to be the prime suspect in the case and it will perfectly be within the powers of the Police to investigate and arraign him for prosecution.”
Per AKA’AHS ,J.S.C ( Pp. 8-9, paras. C-E ). In the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of OLATINWO v. STATE (2013) LPELR-19979(SC)

My authority is:
1. The Supreme Court’s judgement in the case of OLATINWO v. STATE (2013) LPELR-19979(SC)

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