A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has sentenced the Inspector-General of Police Usman Alkali Baba to three months in prison for disobeying a valid court order.
The court, in a ruling by Justice M. O. Olajuwon on Tuesday, held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months or until he obeys an order it made on October 21, 2011.
The IGP’s committal followed a suit by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.
“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 court held.
Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission (PSC) recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the Force, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP refused to comply with the order.
The court had also ordered the payment of N10m to the applicant, being special and general damages for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his rights and privileges as a Senior Officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.
This is the second high profile contempt case involving a Senior Security personnel in Nigeria in the last few weeks, the last was that which involved the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa.
He was also committed to Jail for Contempt of Court following the refusal of the anti Corruption agency to execute a validly delivered Court ruling by an applicant dating back to 2017.
The committal of the Inspector General of Police has once again brought into focus the failure of the high and mighty in Nigeria to obey rulings, directives and orders by the Judicial arm of government.