December 02, (THEWILL) – The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali-Baba, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, to set aside the contempt proceeding and committal order, which sentenced him to three months imprisonment for alleged contempt.
A Federal High Court, Abuja, had on Tuesday, sentenced the IGP to three months in prison for flouting a 2011 court order.
Alkali’s committal followed a suit filed by a police officer, Patrick Okoli, over what he described as his “unlawful and compulsory” retirement from the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumiyiwa Adejobi, said the IGP in a motion filed before a Federal High Court in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), on Thursday, extensively highlighted grounds why the orders should be set aside.
He said, Alkali-Baba had not been appointed into office as IGP when the case was instituted and the reinstatement order was granted.
The IGP, 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 further 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.
“As noted by him, 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, requesting 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”, the statement read.
Alkali-Baba assured Nigerians of his unalloyed commitment and steadfastness in defending the rule of law and respect for judicial authorities.
He also assured Nigerians that he “will not wittingly or unwittingly disobey any order validly granted by courts of competent jurisdiction”.