Defining the agency of the police: conflicting legal approaches
In view of the broad based functions of a Principal or the diverse economic nitty-gritty in global communities, a Principal is often in need of representatives who are vested with powers of an agent in an agency agreement. Similarly, in the dispensation of functions of office, agents are vital tools to authorities who are saddled with the responsibilities of service delivery to the public. These agents carry with them the aura of authority such as the law has vested on the principal. Agents possess powers to the limits of authority accruing unto them from the Principal. Much more worrisome is a situation where the agent is made to perform his responsibilities under a total stranger to the agency agreement. In this case, we are not talking of the third party, but a totally different issuing authority. This raises a very germane question of whose agent such errant or erring agent would be. This paper takes a look at some of the conflicting decisions of the Court of Appeal on the issue of the Nigerian Police and who should take responsibility for any infractions committed by the police in the course of their duties.
Keywords: Agency, Police, Law, Nigeria