The Nigeria Police Force has said that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, did not disregard court order or rule of law as his office is not aware of any court order.
The reaction follows the recent order of a federal high court in Abuja, which sentenced the IGP to 3 months imprisonment for disobeying court order.
This was made known in a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, hours after Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon issued the order.
Adejobi, in the statement, said the IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Force Legal Unit to investigate the allegation and proffer informed legal advice to him on the court order for necessary action.
The NPF’s position: The statement from Adejobi on behalf of the Nigeria Police Force reads,
- ‘’The Nigeria Police Force wishes to state emphatically that the Office of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, PSC (+), NPM, NEAPS, FDC, CFR, did not disregard Court Order or rule of law as the office is not aware of any Court Order, during the current IGP’s tenure, with respect to a matter making the rounds in the media that the IGP disobeyed a Court Order for the reinstatement of a dismissed officer of the Force.
- “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 judgment 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.’’
For the record: Recall that earlier in the day, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of a federal high court in Abuja, sentenced the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba to 3 months in prison for disobeying a court order.
The order, which was given by the judge followed a suit filed by a former police officer, Patrick Okoli, who claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigeria Police Force.
Okoli had challenged his forceful retirement from the Nigeria Police Force and on February 19, 1992, had a judgment delivered in his favour where the court quashed the letter of compulsory retirement.
The applicant, afterward, instituted a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/637/2009 at the Abuja Federal High Court seeking an order of mandamus to compel the enforcement of the order of the Bauchi High Court and the directives of the PSC.
The Federal High Court in Abuja delivered its judgment in favour of the applicant on October 21, 2011.
The office of the IGP appealed the court judgment but the appeal was dismissed.
The applicant took further steps to enforce the order, including approaching the Federal House of Representatives, which then wrote to the office of the IGP.
After efforts failed, the applicant approached the law firm of Festus Keyamo, to commence a committal proceeding against the respondent.
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