The officers who were fired by the IG petitioned the court for an order to overturn their forced retirement. The court presided over by Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi, then ordered the reinstatement of the forcefully retired officers by the IG, the Police Service Commission, and the Force Secretary of the Police.
The IGP and other defendants, however, have yet to comply with the court order since it was issued on April 19, 2022.
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Justice Oyewumi berated the IG in a recent order issued by the court on June 8, 2023, a copy of which was made available to Punch on Tuesday, for the latter’s refusal to obey the court despite advice from relevant stakeholders in the police force.
“It is on record of this court that the court delivered a judgement in this case on 19/4/2022 and ordered that the judgement creditors/applicants be reinstated forthwith,” the court order stated. The Police Service Commission, the statutory body with the authority to appoint, promote, and discipline the judgement creditors/applicants, has also ordered the Inspector General of Police to comply with the court’s decision.
“It is equally noteworthy that the CP, Legal, the Head of Department of the Nigerian Police Force had also issued legal advice urging the Inspector General of Police to comply with the order of this court vide a letter dated and the Inspector General of Police received it on 27/7/2022 yet he has refused to obey or comply with the judgement of this court.
“This is an officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who swore on oath to uphold the rule of law and the same law he has now failed or refused to obey. It is also of importance to state that this court has given ample opportunities to him and the Force Secretary to appear before this court and show cause why they are not to be held to be in contempt of this court, the record of the court evinces that they have both been served the enrolment of the order of this court severally yet they both deem it fit to flout the order of this court and desecrated this hallowed chamber and the temple of justice.
“Justice is not only for the affluent, it is indeed for the poor and vulnerable also. I pause to say that I wonder what type of head of an enforcement agency like the police, the Inspector General of Police is, if he finds it so difficult or so difficult it seems for him to obey a simple order of the court. I also wonder the type of example he is laying for his officers if he as the head of the Nigerian Police Force has chosen/ elected to flagrantly take the law into his advised by the Police Service Commission and his own officer, the CP, Legal to comply. This I must say is preposterous and appalling.
“It is in the light of all stated which are in sync with the record of this court that I hold the Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba and the Force Secretary, AIG Hafeez Inuwa for being in contempt of this court, are to be arrested and be produced before this Court for necessary action.” The case was postponed until October 9, 2023, by the court.