14 Jun What to do if you are Arrested in Nigeria

When can you be arrested?

  • If you are suspected of committing a crime as a result of a complaint
  • If you are suspected of committing a crime upon investigation by the police.
  • During or immediately after the commission of a crime

Who can arrest you?

  • Police
  • Law Enforcement agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) etc
  • Private individuals (in certain cases)

What to do when arrested

  • Do not attempt to resist arrest
  • Ask for the reason you are being arrested
  • If the arresting officer is not in uniform, ask the person to identify themselves
  • If you are not arrested while allegedly committing a crime, ask for the arrest warrant
  • Arrests carried out without an arrest warrant are illegal
  • Ask the officer what station you are being taken to
  • Once you get to the station, contact your family, friends, and lawyer informing them you have been arrested and where you are being detained
  • When the police officer asks to take your statement, you do not have to give a statement as you have a right to silence, however you may waive this right
  • You may write your statement yourself, and sign it; or you may have the officer take down the statement. If the officer writes the statement, make sure it is read over to you before you sign it.

If you feel that your right to personal liberty, or the right of someone you know has been violated. Please contact your lawyer IMMEDIATELY.

You can also read this answer to a question around Stop and search rights in Nigeria if you would like to know more.


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We hope you have found this information helpfulPlease note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This answer is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer. If you would like to find out more about a consultation, you may click on the button below.

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