Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to obey the ruling of the High Court that sentenced him to
three months imprisonment.
Naija News reports that HURIWA applauded the court’s ruling, saying it means the justice system in the country shows that nobody is above the law.
According to the group, the step is a courageous one, noting that the Judiciary had lawfully exercised the judicial authority conferred on it by Section (6) subsection (1) of the 1999 constitution.
Naija News recall that Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, sentenced the IGP to three months in prison for contempt of court after his refusal to obey a court order made by the Federal High Court.
Justice Olajuwon, who delivered the judgement followed a suit filed by one Patrick Okoli, a former police officer who claimed that he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigeria Police Force.
HURIWA, however, noted in a statement that the order of the Federal High Court must be obeyed with immediate effect, “meaning that the IGP should surrender himself with his prison bag straight to the correctional center in Kuje. He should not treat this court order with ignominy or contempt.
“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to personally supervise the surrender of the IGP to the Federal Correctional Center, Kuje, without wasting time. Anything outside of strict compliance with this court order will mean that Nigeria has become a banana republic.”
The rights group urged the IGP to obey the court ruling before complaining or get a stay of execution order quickly.
HURIWA maintained that the IGP could not be excused on the nebulous ground that he did not originate the breach of the court’s order even if he was not the holder of the office at the time of the genesis of the matter because the office of the IGP is consistently occupied.