The Ekiti State Government has filed a suit to challenge the section of the Police Act which provides for compulsory discharge of an unmarried pregnant policewoman from the police force.
“The suit filed at the Federal High Court in Ado-Eikiti, seeks the striking out of section 127 of the Police Act and Regulations which the state government argues is discriminatory and violates constitutional provisions.”
The Attorney-General of the state, Wale Fapohunda, who filed the suit on behalf of the state government, disclosed this in a thread of tweets on Sunday.
He stated, “My office has sought judicial review of Section 127 of the Police Act and Regulations.
“Section 127 provides 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 and shall not be re-enlisted except with the approval of the Inspector-General’. We believe this provision is discriminatory and in violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999( as amended).”
Mr Fapohunda’s special assistant on media, Olalekan Suleman, said in a statement on Sunday that the Ekiti State commissioner of police and the Police Service Commission (PSC) were sued as co-defendants in the suit.
Mr Suleman added, “The suit is asking the court to determine among others, whether the provisions of Section 127 of Police Act and Regulations are not in violation of the combined provisions of Sections 37 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), and Articles 2,3, 5 18(3) and 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and therefore unconstitutional, null and void.”
Among the prayers sought in the suit was “an order of court declaring Section 127 of the Police Act and Regulations which provides for the discharge from the Police Force, women police officers who become pregnant while unmarried unconstitutional.”
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It also sought “An order nullifying Section 127 of Police Act and Regulations as well as an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Inspector General of Police, the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police and the Police Service Commission from implementing the said provisions.”
The suit followed last year’s dismissal of a police constable in Ekiti State, Olajide Omolola, for getting pregnant barely a year after graduating from the police academy.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Babatunde Mobayo, the state police commissioner in the state, justified the dismissal of Ms Omolola, who was attached to the Iye Ekiti Police Station in Ilejemeje area of Ekiti State.
Mr Mobayo had said, while addressing journalists on the matter in Ado-Ekiti on January 28, said the dismissed constable violated Section 127 of Police Act and Regulations.
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