Why the court sentenced the Inspector General of Police to 3 months in prison


An Abuja-based Federal High Court has sentenced Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, to 3 months in prison for disobeying a court order.

The order, which was given by the presiding judge, Mobolaji Olajuwon, followed a lawsuit filed by a former police officer, Patrick Okoli, who claimed he illegally and compulsorily withdrew from the Nigerian Police Force.

Affidavits in support of the lawsuit show that the applicant (Okoli) was forced into retirement in June 1992.

Case history: Okoli had contested his forced retirement from the Nigeria Police Force and a judgment was entered in his favor on 19 February 1994 in which the court struck down the compulsory retirement letter.

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

The Police Service Commission (PSC), in a letter dated October 13, 2004, instructed the then IGP to reinstate the applicant and issue a recommendation for promotion in accordance with the court’s decision.

Subsequently, the applicant filed a lawsuit marked as FHC/ABJ/CS/637/2009 in the Abuja Federal High Court seeking a writ of mandamus to enforce the execution of the Bauchi High Court order and PSC directives. .

The Abuja Federal High Court rendered judgment in favor of the applicant on October 21, 2011.

The IGP office appealed the court ruling but the appeal was dismissed.

The applicant took additional steps to enforce the order, including approaching the Federal House of Representatives, which then wrote to the IGP’s office.

After the efforts failed, the applicant approached the Festus Keyamo law firm to initiate commitment proceedings against the defendant.

Refusal to comply: While handing down the sentence, Judge Olajuwon held that the IGP should be jailed and detained for a period of 3 months, or until they obey the order.

  • “It is unfortunate that the main enforcer of the law is someone who has deliberately refused to comply with the law itself. It is important to note that obedience to court orders is essential for the good order, peace and stability of a nation.” the judge maintained.
  • “It is a duty that every citizen who believes in the peace and stability of the Nigerian state owes to the nation, and the court has a duty to convict the person who has not complied with the court order, in order to avoid the authority and administration of the law are disrespected and to protect the dignity of the court.
  • “The terms of this court’s orders are clear and unambiguous. This court is satisfied that the defendant (currently and those before him) has had adequate knowledge of this court’s orders; such knowledge and receipt of models 48 and 49 is not denied.
  • “The defendant filed a counter-affidavit and was duly represented in court by different lawyers, who stated how they had drafted various legal opinions that were not attended to.
  • “The defendant’s refusal and failure to comply with this court’s orders have been proven in this case. The defendant, in this case the inspector general of police, in the person of Usman Alkali Baba, will be imprisoned and detained in custody for a period of three months or until he has obeyed the order of this court, made on October 21, 2011. , in all things that have to be done, the term that is less.
  • “If after three months, the contemporary remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he will be imprisoned for another period and until his contempt is purged.”

For the record: Recall that on November 8, in similar circumstances, Judge Chizoba Oji of an Abuja High Court sentenced the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, for contempt and ordered that he be sent to prison in the Kuje Correctional Facility. Center, Abuja.

  • The judge held that Bawa was in contempt of the court order issued on 21 November 2018, ordering the commission to return the applicant, his Range Rover and the sum of N40 million.
  • However, Judge Oji, in a subsequent ruling, overturned Bawa’s conviction and quashed the earlier order imprisoning him after hearing an application by the EFCC Chairman.

… Why did the court sentence the Inspector General of Police to 3 months in prison? Read more at… Naijaonpoint.




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