The Ekiti State Police Commissioner, Babatunde Mobayo has insisted that the sack of Police Constable, Miss Olajide Omolola, for getting pregnant in service without due authorization followed due process.
Mobayo while speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti on Thursday submitted that Omolola violated section 127 of the police regulation, and her sack is based on the provision of the law.
He disclosed that after police school training, a police woman must pass through post-training experience on the field for at least two years before marriage and three years before childbearing.
Naija News recalls Omolola was said to have completed police training on April 24, 2020, and was thereafter deployed to Iye Ekiti in Ekiti State.
She was however sacked last week 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.
The matter has attracted public anger and reaction since it became open with some stakeholders arguing that the aspect of the Police Act which was being relied on to justify the sacking of the policewoman had been repealed in the amended Police Act that was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2020.
But the Ekiti State Police Commissioner has insisted otherwise, maintaining that the woman police contravened her terms of engagement.
Mobayo said: “In police organisation, we have rules and regulations, which are being carried out within the ambit of the constitution. The Police officers are not even allowed to keep their children that are above 18 years of age in the barracks. Some of these laws were taught in the police Colleges before we graduated.
“These laws have been there. Some stipulated the number of years you must spend before you get married. If you are in police College, you are not supposed to get pregnant. When you pass out, you still need basic training and for your attention not to be distracted, you must spend a certain minimum of time before you get married for you to perform efficiently.
“The lady in question passed out May, 2020, which is eight months ago and now she is six months pregnant. The Police Act 2020, which is undergoing amendment in the Senate has not repealed that. She had contravened Section 127 of the police regulation.
“Section 126 of the regulation stated that a married woman police who is pregnant may be granted maternity leave, while Section 127 said unmarried woman police who become pregnant shall be discharged from the Force and shall not be enlisted except with the approval of the IGP.
“What some people talk about that her fundamental human rights had been trampled upon and that women should not be discriminated against while also saying the law has been repealed was not true. The regulation is still in place”.
The Police Commissioner also insisted that the Police Amendment Bill 2019 which is being quoted in some quarters is not yet passed, saying it has only got to the second reading.
“The amendment being sought has not been done nor had the bill gotten presidential assent. It has just been referred to the Senate Committee on Police Affairs for further scrutiny. Aside from the foregoing, the amended Police Act is different from police regulation”, Mobayo submitted.
Speaking further, the Police Commissioner stated that there is nothing personal in his stand about the lady, noting that if anything, he felt pity for her but the rule can’t be flouted or bent.
He added that he had been a Commandant in one of the Police Colleges before becoming a CP.
“I felt for that lady, though I never saw her before. We saw the medical report and we did due diligence on her case. We can’t shy away from the oath of office we took, but the IGP can still reverse whatever we do on the field.”
“About 300 policewomen graduated here last year. How would the public feel if they see all of them pregnant in less than a year? It will look ridiculous. We are not the drafters of the rules, we met them there. All these disciplinary actions are what made us able to control our men. No Police Constable is underaged and they should be able to know what to do not to get pregnant within the time prohibited by regulation”.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has been quoted in his reaction to the saga on the lady sacked from the force for getting pregnant out of wedlock to have ordered an investigation into the matter.
The IGP was quoted to have stated on Wednesday, January 27 when the matter was brought to his attention by newsmen while commissioning a project at the SPOs quarters on Oba Aladejobi Street, in the GRA area of Ikeja, Lagos State to have said: “Let us do our own investigation and find out because whatever I say must be authoritative.”