By Augustine Ehikioya
Sequel to the committal order issued by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, 29th November 2022, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has approached the Court to file a motion to set aside the contempt proceeding and committal order.
The Federal High Court had issued the order based on non-reinstatement of a dismissed Police Officer, Patrick C. Okoli.
According to a statement issued on Friday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, and obtained by Security Watch Africa (SWA), IGP Baba, in a motion filed before the Federal High Court in the FCT on Thursday, 1st December 2022, “extensively highlighted grounds why the orders should be set aside including noting that he had not been appointed into office as Inspector-General of Police when the case was instituted and the reinstatement order in question granted.
“He also affirmed that the contempt proceedings were served via substituted means in November, 2018 and January, 2019 respectively, on the then Inspector-General of Police, and not on him as the incumbent.”
The IGP in his disposition, according to the statement, also noted that even before his assumption of Office, “official steps had been taken by his predecessors toward complying with the reinstatement of Patrick C. Okoli, the plaintiff, as ordered by the Court.”
The IGP further noted that this was evidenced by an official letter addressed to the Police Service Commission on the approval of the then Inspector General of Police, as far back as 2015, and before the court order of November 29th, 2022.
The letter, IGP Baba said, requested the Commission to issue a reinstatement letter to the plaintiff and also effect his promotion in line with the order of the Court and in the exercise of their statutory authority in that regard.
“Hence, the grounds for the contempt proceedings ought not to have existed, ab initio,” IGP Baba said.
The IGP, according to the statement, also reassured Nigerians of his “unalloyed commitment and steadfastness in defending the rule of law and respecting judicial authorities and hence, will not wittingly or unwittingly disobey any order validly granted by courts of competent jurisdiction.”