Workplace Investigations: The Dos and Don’ts

Umar’s phone rang out as he rushed from the bathroom to pick up the call. It started ringing again as he approached it. “If it’s the same caller, then it must be really important”, thought Umar as he grabbed the phone from off the desk in his room, “hallo! Na who be this?” Umar said in one breath. “This is Supol Humphrey from the Financial Fraud Unit, Maryland. We would like to see you at our office tomorrow at 10:00am prompt.”

Umar was still trying to get his thoughts together as he received the message from Supol Humphrey. A call from the Police was the last thing that he, by all means, expected.

“Sorry, who be this? Why Police? I do not understand please.”

“Well, are you not Mr. Umar of Daliso BDC Ltd? Your company name came up during our investigation of a transaction by one Shina Korede in January last year. We want to find out how involved you were in the transaction and the whereabouts of Shina.”

So started Umar’s horrors of the week or even of the year. Having heard a couple of unpleasant police stories, he always avoids issues that may end up with the Police. He even avoids being friends with them. “Clearly, they are looking for Shina who is not hiding anyway, so what have I, Umar, got to do with it?” A call to Shina himself revealed that he had no notice of being sought by the Police. Umar also called his lawyer friend, Junio. Junio advised that he should not honour the invite until he received a written invitation. Junio recanted the experience of other acquaintances in similar circumstances and warned Umar sternly.

Jumoke Dawodu: she honoured a similar Police invite, after spending a night in their stinky cell, she had to pay N500k to get out. She was adjudged guilty until proven innocent. Notwithstanding her innocence, Jumoke’s thriving enterprise and her psyche suffered a big hit from the meddling and “investigations”. She was terribly delayed and could not answer the customers that she was directly responsible for. She explained everything in all honesty to the investigating officer, but he was bent on passing a guilty verdict on her even though it was not in his place to do so.

Tumi’s case was akin to Jumoke’s. But in his case, he knew where the suspect sought to be arrested was and shared the information, but the investigators still insisted he must produce the wanted man.

Such experiences are rife with many business men and women where they are literally held against their will on various excuses to the detriment of their time and business … But you don’t have to allow yourself get thrown into a quagmire of confusion, after all the Police is your friend, or are they not?

Happy to read your feedback on this.

As much as possible, demand for a written invitation after you receive such invites, do not pay any bribe and stand in your innocence. They cannot hold you for more than 48 hours. Always have your legal rep in the forefront for all purposes and let the Most High be your bulwark in the market place.

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