IGP Approach Court To Set Aside Jail Term Over Contempt
A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, sentenced the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba to three months in prison for disobeying a court order.
The ruling was passed by Justice Mobalaji Olajuwon following a suit filed by a police officer, Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.
Baba in his reaction to the court ruling approached the court to file a motion to set aside the contempt proceeding and committal order.
The spokesman for the force, Olumiyiwa Adejobi in a statement released on Thursday said the IGP filed the motion before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to Adejobi, the IGP extensively highlighted grounds why the orders should be set aside.
He noted that the IGP pointed to the fact that he had not been appointed into office as Inspector-General of Police when the case was instituted and the reinstatement order in question granted.
Baba further stated that the contempt proceedings were served via substituted means in November 2018 and January 2019 respectively, on the then Inspector-General of Police, and not on him as the incumbent.
Adejobi in the statement wrote, “The IGP in his disposition further noted that even before his assumption of Office, official steps had been taken by his predecessors toward complying with the reinstatement of Patrick C. Okoli, the plaintiff, as ordered by the Court.
“As noted by him, this was evidenced by an official letter addressed to the Police Service Commission on the approval of the then Inspector General of Police, as far back as 2015, and before the court order of November 29th, 2022, requesting the Commission to issue a reinstatement letter to the plaintiff and also effect his promotion in line with the order of the Court and in the exercise of their statutory authority in that regard.
“Hence, the grounds for the contempt proceedings ought not to have existed.
“The IGP reassures Nigerians of his unalloyed commitment and steadfastness in defending the rule of law and respecting judicial authorities and hence, will not wittingly or unwittingly disobey any order validly granted by courts of competent jurisdiction.”