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Nigeria’s Police Boss Says He’s ‘Seeking Legal Advice’ On Court’s Imprisonment Order

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Usman Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, has directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Force Legal Unit to proffer informed legal advice to him on the order of a the Federal High Court, Abuja which sentenced him to three months in prison for “disobeying a court order”.

The police boss made this known in a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi hours after Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon issued the order that the IGP be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months.

The order of the court followed a suit filed by a former police officer, Patrick Okoli who claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigeria Police Force in June 1992.

A Federal High Court in Abuja was said to have ordered the reinstatement of Okoli in a judgement on October 21, 2011, but the office of the IGP was said not to have complied.

However, in a statement on behalf of the IGP on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, Adejobi said the police boss did not disregard court order or the 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 IGP has however directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Force Legal Unit to investigate the allegation in a bid to ascertain the position of the court and proffer informed legal advice for the IGP’s prompt and necessary action,” the statement read.

Adejobi also said the IGP will continue to uphold the rule of law and synergise with the judiciary to ensure quick dispensation of justice for an improved criminal justice system.

Earlier in November, Justice Chizoba Oji of a High Court Abuja convicted the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa for contempt and ordered that he should be committed to prison at Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja.

The judge held that Bawa was in contempt of the order of the court made on November 21, 2018, directing the commission to return to an applicant, his Range Rover and the sum of N40 million.

However, Justice Oji in a subsequent ruling set aside the conviction of Bawa after hearing an application brought by the EFCC chairman.

Former Speaker Dogara Petitions IGP, Alleges Plot To Assassinate Him

Yakubu Dogara, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, has alleged a threat to his life, saying two police officers are conspiring with one Barau Joel Amos to kill him.

As a result, Dogara petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba on August 18, claiming Amos allegedly confessed to buying the rifles from the police officers with the intention of killing him.

According to him, two persons – a lawyer, Istifanus Bala Gambar,  and the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State, Markus Musa – are also targeted in the purported assassination plot.

“I am sure you are apprised of the matter since it involves looting of your armoury in Bauchi by the very officers who are entrusted with the safe custody of your arms and a constituent of mine, Barau Joel Amos, who sought to buy or has been buying assault rifles from the officers,” Dogara said.

“I find it worrisome that there has been no official advice from the police relating to this credible threat to our lives to enable us to beef up security around us or just to be careful about our movements. More so, there is a spike in cases of kidnappings and killings by unknown gunmen, especially in the Lere District of T/Balewa.

“A case in point was the attack at Boto town where some relations of a former Governor of the State were killed while some were abducted. With all due respect, this is a matter that must not be handled with kid gloves.

“His confession relates to those who gave him or contributed the money for him to be used to procure weapons. His bank statements and phone call logs will definitely collaborate with his confessions.

“Granted his meager salary as a storekeeper in a secondary school, it will have taken him a lifetime saving to be able to raise the N1.2 million cash which he wanted to use to buy the two rifles.”

The lawmaker however did not say why there is a threat to his life.

Source: ChannelsTV

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