Usman Baba, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), has instructed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Force Legal Unit to provide him with knowledgeable legal counsel regarding the Federal High Court of Abuja’s sentencing of three months in prison for “disobeying a court order.”
After Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon ordered that the IGP be committed to prison and held in detention for a term of three months, the police IGP made this known in a statement signed by the force’s public relations officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi.
Adejobi, the IGP’s spokesperson, claimed in a statement on Tuesday that the police chief had not disobeyed a court order or broken the law because “the office is not aware of any Court Order, during the current IGP’s tenure, with respect to a matter making the rounds in the media that the IGP disobeyed a Court Order for the reinstatement of a dismissed officer of the Force.”
“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, based on available facts gleaned from the reports.
“The most recent judgement on the matter was given in 2011 which should ordinarily not fall under the direct purview of the current administration of the Force. Thus, the news is strange and astonishing.
“The IGP has however directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Force Legal Unit to investigate the allegation in a bid to ascertain the position of the court and proffer informed legal advice for the IGP’s prompt and necessary action,” the statement read.
The court’s decision to imprison the IGP for three months came as a result of a lawsuit brought by Patrick Okoli, a former police officer, who alleged that he was forcibly and illegally retired from the Nigeria Police Force in June 1992.
Okoli was allegedly ordered to be reinstated by a Federal High Court in Abuja in a ruling on October 21, 2011, however the IGP’s office allegedly disregarded the decision.