A LANDLORD CANNOT BE ARRESTED FOR A CRIME COMMITTED BY HIS/HER TENANT: CRIMINAL LIABILITY IS PERSONAL
The position of the law is that no person can be arrested or detained for an offence committed by another person except that other person is a party to the crime.
This is the position of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the recent case of ATIKU ABUBAKAR V. INEC (2020) 12 NWLR (PT 1737) 37 at 167 where EKO JSC stated that:
“There is no vicarious liability in the realm of criminal law. Criminal liabilities are borne personally by culprits and/or other participes criminis. Criminal responsibility is personal and not vicarious”
The Supreme Court re-affirmed and re-echoed the celebrated case of A.C.B vs. Okonkwo (1997) NWLR (Pt. 480) 195, where the Court of Appeal, per Niki Tobi, JCA (as he then was) stated that:
“I know of no law which authorizes the Police to arrest a mother for an offence committed or purportedly committed by the son. Criminal responsibility is personal and cannot be transferred. Police officers who arrest “A” for the offence committed by “B” should realize that he has acted against the law. Such a police officer should in addition to liability to civil action, be punished by the police authority”.
Please share with family, friends, colleagues and associates. Thank you. For more information, please contact:
Ayobayo Babade, Esq., ACIArb (UK), FIMC,
Chief Legal Adviser & Head of Operations,
Tope Babade & Co (Real Estate Consultants).
Tel: +234 813 834 4488 (WhatsApp enabled).
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