By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA–The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, 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 that was delivered by Justice M. O. Olajuwon, 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 since October 21, 2011.“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.
The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission, PSC, recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the Police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP, refused to comply with the order.
The court had also ordered the payment of N10million 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.