Know The Law: Giving a police officer on duty alcohol might cost N50,000 fine

Know The Law: You could be fined N50k for giving alcohol to a police officer on duty

Several reports of police officers on duty acting against the principles of their profession while under the influence of alcohol have emanated over the internet.
Overtime, pictures and videos showing officers in uniform misbehaving while intoxicated sometimes emerge on social media.
For instance, in December 2015, a police officer who was under the influence shot dead three people and himself at a hotel in Ketu, Lagos state.

Also, Kadima Useni, a police inspector, was in November 2018 dismissed by the Nigeria police force after he got drunk while on duty in Akowonjo, Dopemu area of Lagos.

In November 2020, a video wherein a police officer was seen misbehaving under the influence at CBN junction in Abuja also surfaced on social media.

Many of the police officers found to be intoxicated while on duty have been sanctioned based on police regulations.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Missing Out On N600bn Alcohol, Tobacco Tax Windfall – World Bank

But many of the citizens who facilitate the provision of alcohol to police officers are also acting in contrast with the law.

POSITION OF THE LAW?

It is unlawful for a police officer to take alcohol and psychotropic substances like heroin and cocaine while on duty and if the officer is caught, he or she will be punished in line with the police disciplinary procedures.

Section 100 (1) of the Nigeria Police Act 2021 states that: “While on duty, a police officer shall not take any intoxicating liquor, psychotropic substances, or stimulants, where he does, he shall be punished in accordance with the police disciplinary procedures.”

And as the erring officers are liable to sanction, anyone who “knowingly harbours or entertains or either directly or indirectly gives” them alcohol or other psychotropic substances while on duty is liable to a fine of at least N50,000.

The same punishment is stated for anyone one who gives spirits, liquors, psychotropic substances or stimulants to police officers to get them to “commit a breach of duty”.

Section 100 (2) states that: “(a) A person who: knowingly harbours or entertains or either directly or indirectly gives any intoxicating liquor, psychotropic substances or stimulants to any police officer while on duty or permits any such police officer to abide or remain in his house unlawfully; except in cases of extreme urgency.

“(b) By threats or by offer or money, gift, spirits, liquors, psychotropic substances or stimulants induces or attempts to induce any police officer to commit a breach of his duty as a police officer or to omit any part of such duty, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of at least N50,000.”

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