The National Industrial Court on Tuesday in Abuja has ordered the arrest of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, and the Force Secretary, AIG Hafeez Inuwa, due to their failure to obey a court order, considered as an act of contempt.
Previously, the court had directed the Inspector General to reemploy certain police officers, graduates of Courses 33, 34, and 35 from the police academy, who were reportedly forced into retirement.
However, the court order was allegedly disregarded by the Inspector General.
The officers who were forcefully retired took their grievances to the court and sought an order to nullify their compulsory retirement.
The court, overseen by Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi, ruled that the Inspector General, the Police Service Commission, and the Force Secretary should restore the officers to their positions.
Despite the judgment being delivered on April 19, 2022, the Inspector General and other defendants have not yet followed the court order.
In a recent directive given on June 8, 2023, Justice Oyewumi reprimanded the Inspector General for not complying with the court’s ruling, despite advice from pertinent police force stakeholders.
The court order criticized the Inspector General for his defiance: “This is an officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who swore on oath to uphold the rule of law, and the same law he has now failed or refused to obey.”
Justice Oyewumi continued, expressing dismay at the precedent being set by the police chief’s bbehaviourand calling the situation “preposterous and appalling.”
The court order concluded by declaring the Inspector General and the Force Secretary in contempt of court, demanding their arrest and appearance before the court for “necessary action.”
The case will be continued on October 9, 2023.