Arrest of an accused (1)

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The mounting pressure on me by callers before my last write-up compelled me to skip this topic which ought to come before bail. One must be arrested before bail comes into play. This topic – arrest – is important because sometimes persons and authorities abuse it. There have been situations where innocent persons were arrested by the police and trumped up charges are brought against them and they are charged to court.

This kind of intimidation of innocent citizens are as a result of ignorance and this is what I intend to address in this write-up. Please don’t forget that the prompt attention of a lawyer is very necessary once you are arrested and even before you make any statement in the police station, which may be used against you. You do not understand the Law, therefore an expert- lawyer is the best for you.

What is an arrest?

The lawful restriction on an individual’s right to liberty as contained in Section 35 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria is termed to be an arrest.

According to Wikipedia,
“An arrest is the act of depriving people of their liberty, usually in relation to an investigation or prevention of a crime, and thus detaining the arrested person in a procedure as part of the criminal justice system.
Police and various other bodies have powers of arrest. In something places, the power is more general; for example in England and Wales, any person can arrest “anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing, have committed or be guilty of committing an indictable offence,” although certain conditions must be met before taking such action.”

The word “arrest” is Anglo-Norman in origin, derived from the French word arrêt meaning ‘to stop or stay’ and signifies a restraint of a person. Lexicologically, the meaning of the word arrest is given in various dictionaries depending upon the circumstances in which word is used. There are numerous slang terms for being arrested throughout the world. In British slang terminology, the term “nicked” is often synonymous with being arrested, and “nick” can also refer to a police station, and the term “pinched” is also common. In the United States and France the term “collared” is sometimes used. The term “lifted” is also heard on occasion.
To be continued next week.

*Do you have questions or seek legal clarification on issues concerning your marriage, probate, property, etc? Call Barr. Ken: 08162016410, 08075763840. Email:

Case 1

Can I be arrested while legislating on the floor of parliament?

Dear Lawyer,

I am a regular reader of your column. Please I’m a legislator and I will like to know if I can be arrested while I am on the floor of the House (parliament) legislating. I hate embarrassment. Thanks.

From Chief Edwin,


Dear Chief Edwin,

First and foremost, it is not good to commit an offence because it makes one restless at all times for fear of being apprehended by the law enforcement agents. I believe that you’re anhonourable person who just wants to know your rights. However, a warrant of arrest cannot be executed in a Lagislature or parliament while the House is in session; except with the consent of the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House. Let me also add that likewise, a warrant of arrest cannot be executed in a courtroom while the court is sitting.

Case 2

Am I right to detain a suspected burglar on my property?

Dear Lawyer,

Around 12:30am one night, I heard a noise coming from the door of one of my tenants who had traveled for the weekend. And when I went to check what was happening, I saw a young man with a hammer trying to break into the apartment. I shouted, and with assistance from other people we apprehended him and detained him until 12 noon before taking him to the police station. Please is my action right?

From MrsEdu,


Dear MrsEdu,

In a way as a private person to arrest a person committing a misdemeanor by night is right as in Section 12 CPA. However, if a police station is nearby and there is a means of taking him to the station that night or veryl early in the morning, it is best to do so. Please don’t take laws into your hands because you have no right to detain him for as long as you did, since there is a police station near you.

Call Barr. Ken: 08162016410, 08075763840. Email:

Lawyer Jokes

The Lawyer’s Son

The lawyer’s son wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, so he went to law school and graduated with honors. Then he went home to join his father’s firm.
At the end of his first day at work, he rushed into his father’s office and said, “Father, father! In one day I broke the Smith case that you’ve been working on for so long!”
His father yelled, “You idiot! We’ve been living on the funding of that case for ten years!”

Contract Law Class

One day in Contract Law class, the professor asked one of his better students, “Now if you were to give someone an orange, how would you go about it?”
The student replied, “Here’s an orange.”
The professor was livid. “No! No! Think like a lawyer!”

The student then recited, “Okay, I’d tell him, ‘I hereby give and convey to you all and singular, my estate and interests, rights, claim, title, claim and advantages of and in, said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp, and seeds, and all rights and advantages with full power to bite, cut, freeze and otherwise eat, the same, or give the same away with and without the pulp, juice, rind and seeds, anything herein before or hereinafter or in any deed, or deeds, instruments of whatever nature or kind whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding…”

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