IGP “not aware” of court order reinstating dismissed officer
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has responded to an order by a federal high court in Abuja sentencing Usman Baba, the inspector-general of police (IGP), to 3 months imprisonment for disobeying a court order directing the reinstatement of Patrick Okoli, a former officer who claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from service.
The Police said that the IGP was “not aware” of a previous court order on the reinstatement of a former police officer.
Eighteen years ago, the Police Service Commission (PSC), had in a letter dated October 13, 2004, directed the then-IGP to reinstate the applicant and issue a recommendation for promotion in line with the decision of the court.
Consequently, Okoli instituted a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/637/2009 at the Abuja federal high court seeking an order of mandamus to compel the enforcement of the order of 2004 by a Bauchi state high court and the directive of the PSC.
After two years, the Abuja federal high court delivered judgment in favour of the applicant on October 21, 2011, the office of the IGP, appealled the decision but lost.
Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, said the news is “strange and astonishing”.
He said, “It is instructive to note that the case in point concerns an officer who was dismissed as far back as 1992, a few years after the current IGP joined the Nigeria Police Force”.
“The most recent judgement … should ordinarily not fall under the direct purview of the current administration of the Force.
Adejobi however added that the commissioner of police, force legal unit is investigating the allegation to ascertain the position of the court and proffer informed legal advice for the IGP’s prompt and necessary action.
“The inspector-general of police reiterates his commitment to upholding the rule of law and synergizing with the judiciary to ensure quick dispensation of justice for an improved criminal justice system.”