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Retirement: IGP in contempt of court – Lawyer

A legal practitioner and Human Rights activist based in Abuja, Barrister Silas Joseph Onu, has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba Alkali,…

A legal practitioner and Human Rights activist based in Abuja, Barrister Silas Joseph Onu, has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba Alkali, to respect the judgement of the court and vacate the office as ordered by the court.

Onu, in a statement issued in Abuja, said as it stands with the judgement of the Federal High Court Over in Awka, the IGP is currently occupying office illegally.

According to him, the statement in defence of the IGP by the spokesman of the police, Mr Muyiwa Adejobi, cannot override judgement of the court.

Barrister Onu said, “The above-quoted press release by the spokesperson of the Police, on behalf of the sacked/retired former Inspector-General of Police, who in total disregard for law and order as contained in the Federal High Court judgment that determined his unlawful appointment and stays in office, is reminiscent of the Buhari administration’s penchant for disobeying Court orders.

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“It is not surprising, therefore, to see that an appointee of Buhari is struggling to remain in office months after he ceased to be a Police officer by operation of law as contained in Section 18(8) of the Police Act, 2020 which is an incorporation of the Public Service Rule that enjoys Constitutional backing.

“The said Federal High Court Judgment of 19th May 2023 was very clear on this point and held that even the appointment letter that CSP Adejobi is holding up as a justification to disobey a valid Court order was declared to be unlawful – so what is remaining?

“While in every judgment there is certainly a right of appeal, such a right does not create an occasion for disobeying the judgment that is validly given.

“Today is 10 days since the judgment was given and there is no injunction staying the judgment pending appeal.

“This is a declaratory judgment that requires immediate obedience even if the former IGP desires to appeal same. He can appeal from his retirement and if he succeeds, then he would have strengthened the law.

“One of the implications of his disobedience to this valid Court order is that he has directly brought the Nigeria Police Force into global shame and disrepute as a lawless organisation. How then can the Police arrest anyone tomorrow for disobedience to Court Order?”

According to him, with the directive by CSP Adejobi, that the public should disregard the judgment, it will be apt to say here that he should be cited for contempt together with the former IGP Usman Baba Alkali.

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