Court Sentences Police Boss for Contempt

By Salihu Ali, Abuja

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A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, sentenced Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to three months in prison for disobeying a court order.


Justice Moblaji Olajuwon in a ruling, held that the IGP be committed to prison and detained in custody for three months, or until he obeys an order the court made on October 21, 2011.


The court held that, if at the end of the three months, “the contemnor remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he shall be committed for another period and until he purges his contempt”.


The court order for the sentence followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.


Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission, PSC, recommended Okoli’s reinstatement from the Police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP, refused to comply with the order.


After challenging his forceful retirement, a Bauchi High Court on February had on 19, 1994, delivered judgment in favour of the applicant and quashed the letter of compulsory retirement.


The high court also ordered that the applicant be reinstated with all rights and privileges.


The Police Service Commission had also in a letter dated October 13, 2004, directed the then-IGP to reinstate the applicant and issue a recommendation for promotion by the decision of the court.


The court had also ordered the payment of N10million to the Applicant, being special and general damages for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his rights and privileges as a Senior Officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.


Dominica Nwabufo

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