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Can celebrities resist Police arrest

Can celebrities resist Police arrest

Can celebrities resist Police arrest?

By Ibrahim Sheriff

It has become habit of some Nigerian celebrities and influencers to resist lawful invitation or arrest by law enforcement agencies, most especially the Nigeria Police Force. This is often due to the misconceptions that many people have that these agencies do abuse their powers, or they are not aware that certain powers are conferred upon these agencies or they think they can get away with to their influence. This can be inferred from different recent encounter between some Nigeria Police Officers and some media influencers/celebrities like the popular Arise News TV Journalist, Oseni Rufai, the rapper Ice Prince and the controversial singer, Portable.

Every nation, Nigeria inclusive, has the rule of standard behavior that regulate the conduct of its member with certain penalties in case of violation. These rules allocate power to certain bodies to carry out such penalties whenever the need arises. The Police inclusive.

The Nigeria Police Force wields its power to arrest from section 35(1) and section 4 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and the Police respectively. And the Criminal Code Act Sec 197 and 356 deals among others with resistance, assault and obstruction of Nigerian Police and Public Officer from executing their lawful duties and prescribe the punishment to be three or two years imprisonment.

However, people form ignorance or are unaware of this, but ignorant of law is not an excuse (ignorantia juris facti excusat). This implies that raising the defense of ignorance cannot save an offender from this, but the punishment may be mitigated based on the discretion of the judge, especially if the accused is a first time offender.


 The constitution gives power to police to make lawful arrest and prosecute whoever resist or obstruct such. However it should be noted that the decision whether or not to prosecute such offenders lies with the discretion of the police or such other agencies based on the available evidence. That is some of these cases die down without proceeding to court.


  1. 1999 Constitution
  2. Criminal Code Act
  3. Police Act


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