The Nigeria Police Force has reacted to the judgment delivered today November 29 by Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Abuja sentencing the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba to three months in prison for disobeying a court order.
Olajuwon issued the ruling following a suit filed by Patrick Okoli, a former police officer who claims he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian police force.
According to the affidavits in support of the suit, the applicant was forcefully retired in June 1992. After challenging his forceful retirement, a Bauchi high court on February 19, 1994, delivered judgment in favor of the applicant and quashed the letter of compulsory retirement.
Reacting to the judgment sentencing the IGP, the spokesperson of the Police Force CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said that the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, did not disregard a court order or rule of law as it was not aware of it.
The statement in part reads
“It is instructive to note that the case in point concerns an officer who was dismissed as far back as 1992, a few years after the current IGP joined the Nigeria Police Force, based on available facts gleaned from the reports.
The most recent judgement on the matter was given in 2011 which should ordinarily not fall under the direct purview of the current administration of the Force. Thus, the news is strange and astonishing.
The IGP has however directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Force Legal Unit to investigate the allegation in a bid to ascertain the position of the court and proffer informed legal advice for the IGP’s prompt and necessary action.
The Inspector-General of Police reiterates his commitment to upholding the rule of law and synergizing with the judiciary to ensure quick dispensation of justice for an improved criminal justice system.”