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Court dismisses suit challenging sack of unmarried pregnant police officer in Ekiti

Court dismisses suit challenging sack of unmarried pregnant police officer in Ekiti
October 07
16:26 2021

A federal high court in Ado-Ekiti has dismissed a suit filed by the Ekiti state government against the inspector-general of police (IGP) over the dismissal of a pregnant officer.

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TheCable had reported that Olajide Omolola, an unmarried police corporal attached to Iye-Ekiti station, was sacked for getting pregnant.

Babatunde Mobayo, the state commissioner of police, had justified Olajide’s sack, saying the officer contravened section 127 of the police regulations.

Following the sack, Olawale Fapohunda, Ekiti state attorney-general and commissioner for justice, had instituted a lawsuit seeking an order of the court  nullifying section 127 of the Police Act, which states that “an unmarried woman police officer who becomes pregnant shall be discharged from the force and shall not be re-enlisted except with the approval of the inspector-general”.

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Fapohunda told the court that the dismissal of the officer, an indigene of Ekiti, on the basis that she got pregnant before she was legally married violates her fundamental right as entrenched in the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

But Femi Falade, police counsel, opposed the plaintiff’s prayers on the grounds that a similar suit had been instituted at the national industrial court in Akure.

Delivering judgment on Thursday, Babs Kuewumi, the presiding judge, dismissed the suit on the grounds that it was an abuse of court process.

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“This suit cannot validly co-exist with the suit at the national industrial court sitting in Akure in Ondo state with suit number: NICN/AK/14/2021. The originating summons of this suit is hereby dismissed,” the judge said.

Earlier, the judge ruled in favour of the plaintiff, and granted the reliefs bothering on “locus standi”, such as whether the court has jurisdiction and whether the appropriate parties have been joined in the suit.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the court sitting, Fapounda said he had sought a copy of the judgment from the court in order to know the next line of action.

He expressed delight on the court’s pronouncement on the reliefs that he has the “locus standi” to institute the suit which he said will be of public interest, especially for indigenes, adding that female police officers shouldn’t be discriminated against.

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