IGP sentenced to prison for contempt of court

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has been sentenced to three months in prison by a Federal High Court, in Abuja, for disobeying a court order.

The presiding judge, Mobolaji Olajuwon, issued the ruling yesterday.

The decision followed a suit filed by a former police officer, Patrick Okoli, who claims he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

According to the affidavits in support of the suit, the applicant, Okoli, was forcefully retired in June 1992. After challenging his forceful retirement, a Bauchi High Court on February 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, in a letter dated October 13, 2004, directed the then-IGP to reinstate the applicant and issue a recommendation for promotion in accordance with the decision of the court.

The Federal High Court in Abuja delivered its judgment in favour of the applicant on October 21, 2011. However, the office of the IGP appealed the court judgment, but the appeal was dismissed. After efforts failed, the applicant approached the law firm of Festus Keyamo, to commence a committal proceeding against the respondent.  

Delivering judgment, Justice Olajuwon held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained for a period of three months, or until he obeys the order.

Meanwhile, the IGP in an issued statement hours after the court judgment, said he is not aware of the reinstatement order of Okoli, adding that he won’t disregard the rule of law.

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