The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, slammed a three-month imprisonment on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, for disobeying a court order.
Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon, who delivered the judgement, issued the order following a suit filed by a former police officer, Patrick Okoli.
Okoli claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigeria Police Force on December 5, 1992.
The retired officer had since 1994 obtained two court judgments ordering his reinstatement and promotion to the suitable rank.
Justice Olajuwon also ordered the payment of N10 million damages to Okoli 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.
The judgement read in part: “It is unfortunate that the chief enforcer of the law is one who has deliberately refused to comply with the same law. It is important to state that obedience to orders of court is fundamental to the good order, peace and stability of a nation,” the judge held.
“It is a duty which every citizen, who believes in peace and stability of the Nigerian state, owes the nation and the court has a duty to commit the individual who has failed to carry out the order of the court for contempt, so as to prevent the authority and administration of law from being brought to disrespect and to protect the dignity of the court.
“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.”
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