Court voids order sentencing IGP to prison for contempt

A federal high court in Abuja on Wednesday set aside its order committing Usman Baba, inspector-general of police (IGP), to imprisonment for contempt.

The court had on November 29 sentenced the IGP to three months in prison for disobeying a court order.

Mobolaji Olajuwon, the presiding judge, convicted the IGP following a suit filed by Patrick Okoli, a former police officer, who claims he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian police force.

However, the IGP filed a motion seeking an order to set aside the contempt proceedings and committal order on the grounds that he had not been appointed into office when the case was instituted.

He also said official steps were taken by his predecessors to comply with the reinstatement order of the plaintiff.

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In her ruling on Wednesday, the judge said there was evidence before the court that the IGP had substantially complied with the order directing the reinstatement of Okoli who was compulsorily retired from the force.

Consequently, she declared that the application of the IGP “is worthy of sympathetic consideration”.

“In view of the substantial compliance with the order of the court and the assurance of ensuring full compliance, the order committing the applicant, inspector-general of police, Usman Alkali Baba, is hereby set aside,” she ruled.

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