3 Steps IGP Alkali Baba Usman May Take after Court Sentenced Him to Prison

3 Steps IGP Alkali Baba Usman May Take after Court Sentenced Him to Prison

On Tuesday, November 29, a Federal High Court in Abuja sentenced Alkali Baba Usman, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), to three months in prison for disobeying a court order.

Mobolaji Olajuwon, the presiding judge, issued the ruling following a suit filed by Patrick Okoli, a former police officer who claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

IGP Usman Baba Alkali/Three Months in Prison/Patrick Okoli
A Federal High Court in Abuja sentenced IGP Alkali Baba Usman to three months in prison for disobeying a court order. Photo credit: Nigeria Police Force
Source: Facebook

How Patrick Okoli was forcefully retired in 1992

According to the affidavits supporting the suit, the applicant (Okoli) was forcefully retired in June 1992, TheCable reported.

After challenging his forceful retirement, a Bauchi high court, on February 19, 1994, delivered judgment in favour of Okoli and quashed the letter of compulsory retirement.

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The high court also ordered that Okoli be reinstated with all rights and privileges.

Subsequently, the Police Service Commission (PSC), in a letter dated October 13, 2004, directed the then-IGP to reinstate the applicant and issue a recommendation for promotion in accordance with the decision of the court.

Okoli approaches Federal High Court for enforcement of judgement

Consequently, Okoli filed another suit in 2009 at the Abuja Federal High Court seeking an order of mandamus to compel the enforcement of the order of the Bauchi state high court and the directives of the PSC.

The court delivered its judgment in favour of the applicant on October 21, 2011.

The office of the IGP appealed the court judgment, but the appeal was dismissed.

After this, Okoli approached the Federal House of Representatives for intervention. The Green Chamber reportedly wrote to the office of the IGP, but all to no avail.

After efforts failed, the applicant approached the law firm of Festus Keyamo (SAN) to commence a committal proceeding against the respondent.

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IGP Baba Usman bags three months in prison

Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice Olajuwon held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained for a period of three months or until he obeys the order.

“The refusal and failure of the respondent to comply with the orders of this court has been proved in this case.
"The respondent, in this case, the inspector-general of police, in the person of Usman Alkali Baba, is to be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months or until he has obeyed the order of this court, made on the 21st October, 2011, in all things that are to be performed, whichever period is shorter.
“If at the end of the three months, the contemnor remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he shall be committed for another period and until he purges his contempt," the judge held.

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Court order: Steps IGP Alkali Baba Usman May Take

While the Nigerian police have not reacted to the development, here are some plausible steps the IGP may take based on a previous similar situation.

1. File a stay of execution

Based on antecedents, the IGP may file a stay of execution to temporarily stop the judgement from being implemented.

A stay of execution is a court order to temporarily suspend the execution of a court judgment or other court orders.

2. Appeal the judgement

To avoid going to prison, the IGP will need more than a stay of execution. Thus, the police chief will likely file an appeal to challenge the court order.

This was the route recently taken by the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa.

A high court in Abuja on Tuesday, November 8, convicted Bawa for contempt of court.

However, rather than swiftly obeying the court order, the EFCC boss appealed against the verdict ordering his remand in Kuje prison.

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The conviction of the EFCC chairman was eventually set aside by the high court of the Federal Capital Territory.

3. Obey the court order

The third step, which will shock many Nigerians if taken, is for the IGP to obey the court order and proceed to prison swiftly.

IGP Alkali Baba Usman: What the law says

Festus Ogun, a human rights lawyer, while reacting to the court order against Bawa in a previous report by Legit.ng, said filing an appeal was not enough as it did not automatically guarantee a stay of execution

The lawyer explained that the appropriate thing to do is to first obey the court order (by going to prison) before taking further steps.

"It is not enough to file a notice of appeal. The court order must first be immediately complied with because merely filing an appeal does not automatically guarantee a stay of execution," Ogun said in reaction to the court order against Bawa.

Source: Legit.ng

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