Contempt: Court jails IGP for 3 months

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Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has committed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba to three months in prison for contempt.

The judge gave the order of committal in a ruling on a case filed by an applicant, Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigeria Police Force.

The applicant had said in affidavits filed in support of the suit that he was unlawfully retired from the force in June 1992.

He had approached a Bauchi high court to seek redress and the court on February 19, 1994, ordered his reinstatement to the police force with all rights and privileges.

Acting on the court judgement, the Police Service Commission (PSC) in a letter dated October 13, 2004, directed the then-IGP to reinstate Okoli and promote him accordingly.

Thereafter, the applicant approached the Federal High Court in Abuja in suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/637/2009, praying it to issue an order of mandamus to compel the IGP to enforce the order of the Bauchi state high court and the directives of the PSC.

The court ruled in favour of the applicant on October 21, 2011.

However, the office of the IGP appealed the ruling of the court but the court dismissed the appeal.

In his bid to get the court ruling enforced, the applicant approached the House of Representatives, which wrote to the IGP on the matter.

Having failed to get the ruling enforced, the applicant engaged the law firm of Festus Keyamo to commence committal proceedings against the IGP.

In Tuesday’s ruling, Justice Olajuwon ordered the IGP to be committed to prison for three months or until he obeys the order reinstating Okoli.

The judge also lambasted the the police chief, stating that “it is unfortunate that the chief enforcer of the law is one who has deliberately refused to comply with the same law. It is important to state that obedience to orders of court is fundamental to the good order, peace and stability of a nation,”

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