- The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has refuted a court ruling that he disregarded a court order to reinstate a dismissed officer of the force, Patrick Okoli
- A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, November 29, sentenced the IGP to prison for disobeying the court order reinstating Okoli
- However, reacting through a statement by the police spokesman, IGP Baba said the case in question did not happen during his tenure
FCT, Abuja - The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba has reacted to the court ruling that he disregarded a court order for the reinstatement of Patrick Okoli, a dismissed officer of the force.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, November 29, sentenced the IGP to three months in prison for disobeying a court order.
However, in a statement released by the force spokesman, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the IGP said he was unaware of the court order on the reinstatement of a dismissed officer.
He explained that the case in point did not happen during his tenure, noting that it happened as far back as 1992.
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"The Nigeria Police Force wishes to state emphatically that the office of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc(+),NPM, NEAPS, fdc, CFR, did not disregard Court Order or rule of law as the office is not aware of any Court Order, during the current IGP's tenure, with respect to a matter making the round 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 statement read in part.
IGP Usman Alkali Baba takes next step
Olumuyiwa said the IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Force Legal Unit to investigate the allegation to ascertain the court's position and profer informed legal advice for the IGP's prompt and necessary action.
"The Inspector-General of Police reiterates his commitment to upholding the rule of law and synergizing with the judiciary to ensure quick dispensation of justice for an improved criminal justice system," the statement read.
Court order against IGP Usman Alkali Baba: Nigerians react
Sunday Chukwuma said on Facebook:
"Now that you are aware of court sentence, send the IGP to Prison as convicted."
Dami Deevine Gbenro-Ayodele said:
"Only shows that Nigeria Police Force has a thing for impunity, and no be today e start.
"At least, convicting your IGP is the only way to get you to do the right thing and obey the Law, unfortunately."
Aronu Obinna said:
"I think this is the new way of getting you armed forces guys to obey court orders ... Because this your wanton contempt of court and prideful disrespect of court orders is becoming embarrassing to the constitution. DSS IS NEXT."
Chisolu Timothy Ukatu Destiny said:
"Nigeria law works only on poor masses...I pity our country Very soon everything will hit the wall and backfire..."
Excel Akah said:
"Ignorant of the law is not an excuse. IGP should submit himself to Nigeria prison service immediately. Imagine a criminal, saying he’s not aware that stealing is a crime."
Steps IGP Alkali Baba Usman may take after court sentenced him to prison
Earlier, Legit.ng predicted that the IGP might file an appeal to challenge the court order.
The prediction was based on 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.