Why You Should Be Careful Employing The Police To Recover Debts

Why You Should Be Careful Employing The Police To Recover Debts

Why You Should Be Careful Employing The Police To Recover Debts.

By Simeon Akala

The Police is not a debt recovery agency and has no business dabbling into contractual disputes between parties arising from purely civil transactions, this is so because, civil disputes are way above the Police, as they don’t have statutory power to adjudicate civil matters, or use coercive means whatsoever in recovery of debts.
It is worthy to note, that the Police is constitutionally and legally saddled with prosecution of criminal offences,the primary duty of the Police by Section 4 of the police Act is the prevention of crime, investigation and detection of crime and the prosecution of offenders . Hence, a party who procures the Police or any enforcement agency, to violate the fundamental rights of a citizen all in a bid to recover debts should be ready to face the legal consequences of such illegality individually or with the misguided agency.
In the case of NWADIUGWU v. IGP & ORS (2015) LPELR-26027(CA), the court held:
“(Police Officers) are neither debt collectors nor Arbitrators and Section 24 of the Police Act 2004 does not list settlement of disputes or collection of debts amongst the duties of the Police.”
In the case of OGBONNA V. OGBONNA (2014) LPELR – 22308 CA; (2014) 23 WRN 48, the Court held:
“…the police have no business helping parties to settle or recover debts. We also deprecated the resort by aggrieved creditors, to the Police to arrest their debtors using one guise of criminal wrong doing or another…”
Lastly, the supreme Court in the case of KURE v. COP (2020) LPELR-49378, held thus:
“When, as in the circumstances of this action, a purely civil matter is reported to the Police, such a person cannot go scot-free as the report ought not to have been made at all since it is not within the purview of Police duties. It is a report made malafide and he will be equally liable for the action taken by the Police irrespective of whether he actively instigated them or not, since he had no business involving the Police in a purely civil matter in the first place. Such conduct which portrays disregard of the law and is aimed at using the coercive powers of the State to punish a contracting party in a purely civil matter ought to be mulcted in exemplary damages.”
WRITTEN
BY SIMEON AKALA
500Level, Law Student,
Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma,
Edo State.
Contact: 08110468699

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