May 27, 2024

Lawyer Criticizes Police Arrest of Portable, Emphasizes Police Not Debt Recovery Agency




Pelumi Olajengbesi, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, has denounced the arrest and detention of Lagos-based singer, Habeeb Okikiola aka Portable, by the Nigeria Police Force over debt-related issues.


In a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, Pelumi Olajengbesi condemned the recent arrest of singer Portable by the Nigeria Police Force over debt-related matters. Olajengbesi emphasized that while Portable might have a reputation for being troublesome, the police’s actions and methods of debt recovery were in direct violation of the country’s laws.


Olajengbesi pointed out that indebtedness is not a criminal offense, echoing that even the Nigerian government carries debts. He highlighted that the courts have consistently ruled against police involvement in civil matters like debt recovery or contractual disputes unless there are allegations of fraud or criminal conduct involved.


Quoting Section 32(2) of the Police Act 2020, Olajengbesi reiterated that arrests based solely on civil wrongs or breaches of contract are explicitly prohibited. He referenced legal cases such as Oceanic Securities Int. Ltd. Vs Balogun & Ors (2012) LPELR-9218 (CA), KURE Vs Commissioner of Police (2020) LPELR-49378(SC), and Imam & Another Vs USMAN & Another (2023) LPELR-60203(CA), where the courts emphasized that the police should not intervene in debt settlements or contractual disputes arising from purely civil transactions.


The lawyer urged the Nigeria Police Force to uphold its esteemed position by always acting within the boundaries of the law as established.

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