IGP faces fresh contempt charge

The National Industrial Court in Abuja has threatened to jail the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, over his persistent disobedience to order of the court.

The reaction of the court followed a suit instituted by four senior-rank police officers from courses 33, 34, and 35 who were compulsorily and unlawfully retired from police service.

The affected officers who sued the IGP on behalf of themselves and other affected members of Course 33, 34, and 35 are chief superintendents of Police, Egong Egwu Egong, Omeh Felix Okechukwu. Paul Obot Umoh and Superintendent of Police, Galadima Bello who

In the suit marked NICN/ABJ/21/M/2023 argued by Edwin Okoro on behalf of the retired police officers, the court had nullified the premature retirement of the senior police officers numbering about 20 and ordered the IGP and the Police Service Commission to immediately reinstate them.

However, the police boss and the Force Secretary who are the key defendants in the legal action were said to have bluntly refused to comply with the reinstatement order of the court.

The legal advice of the legal department of the Force Headquarters advising the IGP to comply with the order of the court was also said to have been rebuffed prompting Edwin Okoro, counsel to the aggrieved plaintiffs, to report the violation of the court order by IGP to the Industrial Court for remedy.

In an enrolled order issued by the court and endorsed by Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi, the court gave the IGP May 2 to appear before it and purge himself of contempt of court or be committed to prison in line with the provisions of the law.

The court held that the action of the IGP undermines the rule of law and is unbecoming of a senior official of the Federal Government official and an affront to the 1999 Constitution.

Justice Oyewumi in the enrolled order said that the IGP, no matter his rank, was not above the law and would be made to respect the law when he acts as someone above the law.

Justice Oyewumi thereafter fixed May 2, 2023, for the IGP and the force secretary to appear before the court.

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