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Court sentences IGP to three months in prison

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, sentenced the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to three months in prison for flouting a 2011 court order.

The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

The court also ordered the payment of N10 million to the applicant, being special and general damages for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his (Patrick’s) rights and privileges as a Senior Officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.

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It was reported that the court in a ruling that was delivered by Justice M. O. Olajuwon, held that the police chief should be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months, or until his office obeys an order made by the court since October 21, 2011.

Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the NPF, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP’s office, refused to comply with the order.

Olajuwon said, “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 Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, told our correspondent on Tuesday that the police would soon respond to the verdict.

He said, “We will respond soon. It’s a matter between 1993 and 2011, when the incumbent IGP, Usman Baba, was not yet in office.”

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