By Kissinger Ikeokwu
When the Police, NDLEA, DSS, EFCC etc arrests your relation, friend or acquaintance, the first thing to do is not to call a Lawyer. A lawyer cannot stop the Police from arresting your relation, neither does the Lawyer have the powers to stop the Police from carrying on with their investigation.
I don’t know needs this information, but the Police Station is not the office or the workshop of a Lawyer. A Lawyers’ workplace ordinarily is his office and the Courtroom. Secondly, the Nigerian Police stations across board are not very conducive places for Lawyers. Most times Lawyers suffer serious embarrassments and humiliation all in pursuit of defending their client in the Police or other security agencies. In most cases security agencies deliberately become hostile towards lawyers, because they prefer dealing with the suspects and their lay family members for some reasons that are predictable.
The above explanation means, you should prepare to pay a Lawyer in order to secure his services or appearance at the Police on your behalf. No Lawyer will suffer the inconvenience of appearing in a Police office without a fee, unless he does so for relationship sake or to help the course of Justice.
So once your person is arrested, dont just rush to a Lawyer, because its gonna cost you to get a Lawyer out of his regular scheduled. The following are actions to take when your person is arrested before calling a Lawyer.
- Ascertain the security agency that arrested the person. If it is the Police, make sure you know the Division, Command, Unit, Squad etc. Most times you need this information to make the Lawyer’s job easier. The Lawyer needs it, but if you dont have it, his job begins from there.
- Visit there first. Seek audience with the Investigating Police Officer or Officer in Charge if the case. Make simple inquiries as to why the person was arrested or being detained. The Lawyer would need it, if it gets to that.
- Apply that the person be released on Bail. Most times the cases are Bailable and does not need the intervention of a Lawyer. NOTE: The Lawyer does not enter recognizance for Bail of persons. Therefore you need to present a responsible person to convince the Police as deserving of entering surety on behalf of the arrested person.
- When the Police Concedes to Bail but have demanded some fee underhand, it means they have conceded that the matter is Bailable. Therefore no need consulting a Lawyer, because Lawyers also face such embarrassing situations in the Police in Nigeria. Hiring a Lawyer and first paying for his appearance in the Police in such circumstance may even cost you more. This is because it is not the duty of a Lawyer to go dragging price of bail with the agencies. So if the Police demands money, please hold your ground as to what you can offer, or you can insist that Bail is free.
HOWEVER: Brief a Lawyer immediately once in any of the following case;
- If the Police are refusing Bail
- Being hostile
- You do not understand what they are talking about at all.
- You suspect foul play or mischief.
- Or that someone is using the Police to intimidate, stampede, blackmail or do mischief.
- When you feel the Police orsomeone greater or richer is trying to oppress you unjustly.
- You feel the case is too strong that a Lawyer necessarily must be involved.
- If you are being unnecessarily or unduly extorted.
- If your rights are being violated for no just course.
Then brief a lawyer immediately.