Police lack legal authority to impound your vehicle over failure to produce driver's license - Martin Kpebu
A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, says police officers lack the legal authority to impound a vehicle if a driver fails to present their license.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Mr. Kpebu explained that impounding a vehicle due to the absence of a driver’s license was unjustifiable, as it is only wrongful parking that warrants such action.
“Failure to produce a license doesn’t result in impounding of a vehicle and we are not about to allow that now. The Police will be breaking the law if they should start," Mr Kpebu said.
“You can’t just seize someone’s property just like that. The police don’t also have the right to take the license to the police station.
“If you don’t have a license they could charge you for driving without a license and that is a different matter, but if you have it and it’s not with you, you can always go and bring it,” he explained on Tuesday.
Kpebu argued that it is inappropriate for police officers to impound vehicles under such circumstances, as it violates the law.
He advised motorists to be courteous and polite when driving without their license, as it could make a difference in how the situation is handled by law enforcement officials.
“A lot of the time when you’re polite, it helps. Just the fact that you have 24 hours at his discretion, don’t aggressively demand it. As soon as you become aggressive they also use force," he said.
“It is not the best, but in all of it as a driver, if you are polite it goes a long way to help your issue”.
Mr Samson Lardy Anyenini, another guest on the show, stressed the importance of drivers having their licenses with them at all times.
The discussion was sparked by a recent statement by the Driver and License Authority (DVLA) that vehicles whose drivers fail to present their licenses would be impounded.