IGP prays court to set aside 3-month jail sentence

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The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to file a motion for the contempt proceeding and committal order issued against him to be set aside.

Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Abuja sentenced the police chief to three months in prison on Tuesday for disobeying a court order.

Justice Olajuwon issued the order following a suit filed by a former police officer, Patrick Okoli, who claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigeria Police Force.

However, in the motion filed before the FCT Federal High Court on Thursday, Baba argued that he had not been appointed into office as Inspector-General of Police when the case was filed and the reinstatement order in question granted.

This was revealed in a statement issued on Friday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, noting that “the IGP has also confirmed that the contempt proceedings were served via substituted means in November 2018 and January 2019 respectively, on the then Inspector-General of Police, and not on him as the incumbent.”

“The IGP noted that even before his assumption of the office, official steps had been taken by his predecessors towards complying with the reinstatement of the plaintiff as ordered by the court.”

“He disclosed that it 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, and before the court order of November 29th, 2022, requesting the Commission to issue a reinstatement letter to the plaintiff and also affect his promotion in line with the order of the Court and in the exercise of their statutory authority in that regard.”

The IGP also reassured Nigerians of his total commitment and steadfastness in defending the rule of law and respecting judicial authorities and so, will not wittingly or unwittingly disobey any order validly granted by courts of competent jurisdiction.