BY MAYOWA SAMUEL
The National Industrial Court in Abuja has ordered the arrest of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, and the Force Secretary, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, for contempt of court.
The arrest order followed failure to obey April 19, 2022 judgement to reinstate some police officers who are graduates of Courses 33, 34, and 35 of the Police Academy, forcefully retired by the force.
The affected officers had approached the court presided over by Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi, to complain that the order was allegedly not obeyed by the IGP.
The Court order reads in part: “It is on record of this court that the court delivered a judgement in this case on 19/4/2022 and ordered that the judgement creditors/applicants should be reinstated forthwith. It is on record of this court also that the Police Service Commission, the statutory body that is vested with the power to appoint, promote and discipline the judgment creditors/applicants had ordered the Inspector General of Police to comply with the judgement of this court.
“It is equally noteworthy that the CP, Legal, the Head of Department of the Nigerian Police Force had also issued a legal advice urging the Inspector General of Police to comply with the order of this court vide a letter dated and the Inspector General of Police received it on 27/7/2022 yet he has refused to obey or comply with the judgement of this court.
“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. It is also of importance to state that this court has given ample opportunities to him and the Force Secretary to appear before this court and show cause why they are not to be held to be in contempt of this court, the record of the court evinces that they have both been served the enrolment of order of this court severally yet they both deem it fit to flout the order of this court and desecrated this hallowed chamber and temple of justice.
“Justice is not only for the affluent, it is indeed for the poor and vulnerable also. I pause to say that I wonder what type of head of an enforcement agency like the police, the Inspector General of Police is, if he finds it so difficult or so difficult it seems for him to obey a simple order of court. I also wonder the type of example he is laying for his officers if he, as the head of the Nigerian Police Force has chosen/elected to flagrantly take the law into his own hands, advised by the Police Service Commission and his own officer, the CP, Legal to comply. This I must say is preposterous and appalling.
“It is in the light of all stated which are in sync with the record of this court that I hold the Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba and the Force Secretary, AIG Hafeez Inuwa for being in contempt of this court, they are to be arrested and be produced before this court for necessary action.”
The court adjourned the case to October 9, 2023.