From Molly Kilete, Abuja
Inspector–General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, has approached the court to file a motion to set aside the contempt proceeding and committal order issued by the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, last Tuesday.
The motion is coming after the Federal High Court sentenced the IGP to three months in prison for flouting a 2011 court order.
Alkali’s committal followed a suit filed by a police officer, Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.
Force Public Relations officer Olumiyiwa Adejobi, who made this known, said in the motion filed before the Federal High Court in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Thursday, the IGP extensively highlighted grounds why the orders should be set aside, noting 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.
The IGP also affirmed 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 said: “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, ab initio.
“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.”