Court Frowns At Creditors using Police Or Enforcement Agents Of Government To Recover Debts
The Court of Appeal in
*OMMAN v. EKPE*
reported in (1999) LPELR-6663(CA) has expressed in strong terms her
unwillingness to accept in evidence document signed in the presence of a
Police Officer in respect of a civil claim.
In the case Hon. Justice Pats-Acholonu (Justice, Court of Appeal (as he
then was) stated succinctly as follows:
*”It is most unfortunate that our citizens now use the army and Police
personnel to collect debts from fellow business associates whether the debt
is real or imaginary.
Any document signed in the presence of the Police and
relating to a civil claim shall be viewed with suspect particularly if the
persons against whom it will affect was in custody or under some detention
or handicap that he cannot freely enter into a contract with enforcement
officers breathing down his neck.
Any document that seeks to establish the
existence of a contractual relationship which takes place under the very
watchful eyes of the Police to whom a purely civil matter is brought to its
attention to enforce or put a fear of God into the other side will
certainly not be enforced as there is no consensus and is voidable.”*