Test your knowledge of the topic before starting this module.

Traditionally, some people may imagine investigators as a shady bunch dressed in raincoats, tailing wayward husbands or cheating wives. Or perhaps some fictionalized television series or movie springs to mind, with investigators racing around in sports cars with unlimited adventure and budgets. In reality these myths could not be further from the truth.

Look at the following statements and select the appropriate answer as True or False for each one. Make a note of your answers.

  1. An investigator is allowed to carry a gun while on duty in Canada providing he or she is specially licensed to do so.
    a. True
    b. False
  2. An investigator has a specific power of arrest but only in the execution of his/her duty.
    a. True
    b. False
  3. An investigator can legally “bug” cell phones or landlines with listening devices in order to collect evidence in an investigation, providing the investigation pertains to a crime in Canada.
    a. True
    b. False
  4. An investigator can legally work within any province in Africa, providing s/he holds a valid investigator’s licence issued from the province in which s/he resides.
    a. True
    b. False
  5. An investigator is legally allowed to drive faster than the posted speed limit and run red lights, providing s/he does so safely and is actively in the course of an investigation or official surveillance.
    a. True
    b. False

Send your answers via WhatsApp to +2348050349740


The role of a non-police investigator is vast, complex and largely unknown by the general public. Perceptions are formed by fictional investigators like those found in the popular media or legendary fictional characters such as Sherlock Holmes.

From Canada Perspective: The Security Services and Investigators Act defines an investigator as any person who undertakes the following for remuneration:

As in many jurisdictions, any person performing such services in Nigeria must be properly licensed. Investigators make inquiries, collect information and make reports for such groups as:
• private individuals
• lawyers and law firms
• insurance companies
• corporations
• government
• professional associations and regulatory bodies
• out of province and out of country investigators.

Using techniques such as surveillance, targeted interviews, and collection of open-source intelligence, investigators may become involved in cases that involve:
• private family matters
• allegations of insurance or other financial fraud
• locating stolen property or financial assets
• searching for missing persons
• investigating allegations of harassment, discrimination, or human rights violations in the workplace
• investigating incidents of internal theft of property, data, or other assets.

Investigators may work for a professional association inquiring into allegations of professional misconduct; for insurance companies looking into possibly fraudulent claims; or for professional investigation firms that offer both general and specialized services. Regardless, investigations can be an interesting, varied, and rewarding career.

Good investigators invest in ongoing professional development by consulting with peers and mentors, subscribing to and reading professional trade magazines, attending industry events, and participating in ongoing learning through courses, diplomas, and designations.

In some contexts, investigators will handle a diverse range of files requiring expansive knowledge and skillsets, including a working knowledge of the different industries and circumstances that investigations will take them into.

A good investigator will have an inquiring mind, possess common sense, be relentless in seeking information, subscribe to thorough processes, and at all times be objective.


Like other parts of the broadly-defined, regulated security industry, licensed investigators play a significant role in the safety and security of Nigerians. They do this in part by researching faulty and sometimes dangerous products, protecting workers by looking into harmful workplace practices and behaviors such as harassment and discrimination, helping companies mitigate the financial risk of fraudulent insurance claims, and helping law firms locate missing persons.

According to the Government of Canada, Occupational Profiles directory, investigators may:
• investigate and work to prevent loss caused by theft or fraud in corporations and businesses
• observe disability insurance claimants to see if they are working at another job while they are claiming disability, or to see if their activities are consistent with the claimed disability
• conduct searches for missing persons
• gather information for lawyers about defendants or witnesses in criminal and civil court cases
• gather material or evidence for individuals in divorce or child custody cases
• conduct pre-employment checks
• work with law enforcement agencies to investigate corporate or insurance crimes

To gather the information and evidence they need, investigators may:
• contact law enforcement agencies
• interview employers, friends, relatives, and other sources
• take photographs and videotape events
• locate witnesses and obtain statements from them
• search through public or client records
• keep individuals under surveillance

An investigator is expected to independently verify the facts of a situation without bias and report those facts, sometimes with recommendations, to the client.

A good all-round investigator is expected, after suitable training, to perform a variety of duties, which may include:
• planning and conducting investigations – both criminal and civil
• surveillance
• interviewing witnesses and/or victims
• location of assets, information, and persons
• collection of evidence to support legal and other proceedings

This training course is designed to provide prospective or new investigators with a foundation of the knowledge and skills required to perform the basic duties of a professional investigator – regardless

of the specialized area, they may work in. Depending on the chosen career path, advanced courses are available to further develop knowledge and skills. Some investigators specialize and spend most of their time working on their particular areas of expertise. Others prefer variety in their assigned files.

Specialized areas of investigation include, in part:
• Missing persons
• Workplace health and safety events/incidents
• Workplace misconduct
• Environmental incidents
• Insurance
o Casualty insurance investigations
o Property insurance investigations
o Recovery
o Life and health insurance investigations
• Corporate
o Economic crime
o Due diligence and financial background
o Workplace investigations
o Theft of proprietary electronic files and data
o Fraud or theft related to computer files
• Legal (civil and criminal)
o Corporate and commercial law
o Litigation support and trial preparation
o Family and estate law services
o Civil litigation
• Intellectual property
o Counterfeit and piracy investigations
o Copyright and patent investigations
o Trademark investigations
o Mareva injunctions and Anton Piller orders

Regardless of the type of investigation, the tasks of the investigator are typically the same:
• Seek and collect information
• Collate information and evidence
• Analyze and report on information and findings
• Behave in a discreet, ethical, professional manner
• Maintain confidentiality
• Maintain procedural fairness
• Maintain objectivity

For more information on how to be trained and structured ahead of the implementation of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, then send your names and Location to this WhatsApp Line +2348050349740



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