Embattled Inspector-General of Police begins frantic moves to reverse committal order

The embattled Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, has commenced frantic move for the reversal of jail term slammed on him by Federal High Court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for contempt.

Penpushing reports that, Baba has therefore filed a motion before a Federal High Court in Abuja against the sentence of three months as pronounced on Tuesday by Justice M. O. Olajuwon, until he obeyed an order court made on 21 October 2011.

“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 declared.

Penpushing further reports that, the Inspector General of Police committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

The court in same vein, ordered payment of N10 million 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.

Penpushing also reports that, the court pointed out that, the Police Service Commission (PSC) recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, but the Inspector General of Police refused to comply with the order.

The Inspector General of Police in reaction through the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi in a statement on Friday said he has filed the motion to seek an order to set aside the contempt proceedings and committal order.

Penpushing reports that, the statement said the ground for the motion was that he had not been appointed into office as Inspector General of Police when the case was instituted. ,arguing that  the contempt proceedings were served via substituted means in November 2018, and January 2019 respectively, on the then police boss, and not on him as the incumbent.

The statement explained that, official steps were taken before Baba assumed office by his predecessors to comply with the reinstatement order of the plaintiff,  Okoli, adding that this was evidenced by an official letter addressed to the Police Service Commission, on the approval of the then Inspector General of Police  as far back as 2015, before the court order of November  29, 2022.

“This was evidenced by an official letter addressed to the Police Service Commission, on the approval of the then I-G, as far back as 2015, before the court order of Nov. 29, 2022. The then IGP requested the commission to issue a reinstatement letter to the plaintiff, and effect his promotion, in line with the order of the court in the exercise of its statutory authority. The grounds for the contempt proceedings ought not to have existed,” he said.

Penpushing further reports that, the embattled Inspector General of Police pledged his commitment and steadfastness to continue to defend the rule of law and respect for judicial authorities, adding that  he would not, at any time, wittingly or unwittingly disobey any order, validly granted by courts of competent jurisdiction.

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