A female corporal under the Nigeria Police Force, Olajide Omolola, has bee sacked by the force for getting pregnant.
This is contained in a police wireless message with reference number CJ:4161/EKS/IY/Vol.2/236, DTO:181330/01/2021 which was obtained by The Punch.
The signal originated from the Department of Finance and Administration in Ado Ekiti and was addressed to the Divisional Police Officer at Iye Ekiti where Omolola is based.
It was disclosed in the document that Omolola completed police training on April 24, 2020, and was attached to Iye Ekiti.
The chief financial officer in Ekiti was asked to relay the information of her dismissal to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System to ensure that her salary is stopped.
The document read, “Section 127 of the Police Act and Regulation against women police getting pregnant before marriage W/PC (woman corporal) Olajide Omolola passed out of Police Training School on 24/04/2020 attached to yours contravened above provisions.”
“She stands dismissed from the Force. Dekit her. Retrieve police documents in her possession with immediate effect. O/C CFO Ekiti only. You are to relay the signal to IPPIS Abuja for the stoppage of her salary with immediate effect.”
“DECOMPOLS (deputy commissioners of police)/ACPOLS (assistant commissioners of police)/HODs/DPOs Ekiti State only. You are to lecture women police. Treat as very urgent.”
Punch, however, in an investigation carried out noted that the aspect of the Police Act which was being relied on to justify the sacking of the policewoman had been repealed in the amended Police Act that was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2020.
The repealed law made it compulsory for policewomen to seek the permission of their superiors before getting married.
The champion for police reforms in Nigeria, Dr Innocent Chukwuma, who is also the Regional Director for Ford Foundation, West Africa, said indeed, the aspect of the Police Act which barred unmarried policewomen from getting pregnant had been repealed.
Chukwuma, however, said the law had not yet been gazetted hence the ignorance of its provisions by the police.
He said, “That aspect of the law which is discriminatory against women has been repealed. However, the law has not been gazetted but it doesn’t mean it should not be upheld. Gazetting is a mere administrative process. It entails officially publishing and making it available to all stakeholders and government establishments. Until that is done, they are usually reluctant to uphold the law.”