A police constable recently dismissed for getting pregnant out of wedlock, Omolola Olajide, has filed a suit praying for an order reinstating her to the police force.
Ms Olajide, a constable attached to Iye-Ekiti Police Division, Ekiti State Police Command, was dismissed on January 20, 2021 for allegedly violating section 127 of the Police Act with her pregnancy.
PREMIUM TIMES on Monday saw a copy of her “complaint” which she filed February 3 at the National Industrial Court in Akure, Ondo State, to challenge her dismissal.
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Police Service Commission (PSC) are sued in the suit as the three defendants.
She contends through her lawyer, Funmi Falana, that her “purported dismissal” by the defendants was discriminatory and a violation of the various provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.’
The Ekiti State Government has similarly filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti, describing section 127 of the Police Act which was cited by police authorities in dismissing Ms Olajide as discriminatory and unconstitutional.
The suit, which was filed on behalf of the state government by its Attorney-General, Wale Fapohunda, seeks an order nullifying the said section 127 of the Police Act.
In her statement of claim filed in court, Ms Olajide stated that the reason given for her “disengagement” in a signal sent to the Divisional Police Officer in charge of her station in Iye-Ekiti on January 20, “was that I contravened regulation 127 made pursuant to the Police Act against women getting pregnant before marriage and consequently dismissed.”
“All police documents in my possession were also to be retrieved with immediate effect and my salary stopped,” she added.
She also stated that she was “never invited for interrogation or question by the defendants” before her employment was terminated.
“That I was however called on the phone by the DPO Iye-Ekiti, DSP Humphrey Ogbu on January 21, 2021 informing me to be at the Nigeria Police Medical Service, Ekiti State Command, Cottage Hospital, Ado Ekiti, to undergo a medical test.
“That I went for the test alongside one ASP Dauda Jimoh who collected the original copy of the result of the medical test on behalf of the defendants.”
According to her, the medical test conducted on her at the Police Medical Service, Ekiti State Command, “was done after the signal of my dismissal was already issued and sent out by the 1st defendant.”
The plaintiff said she had been diligent at her duties before her termination of employment.
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She also noted that her lead counsel, Mrs Falana, had, using the platform of her Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA), written to the IGP on January 28, 2021, requesting that she be reinstated to the police force “but nothing was done.”
The plaintiff therefore asks the court to declare that her “purported dismissal” via the January 20, 2021 signal “is null, void and unconstitutional as it violates Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.”
She also wants the court to declare that “the provisions of Regulation 127 of the Police Act against women police getting pregnant before marriage is discriminatory but does not apply to their male counterpart who impregnate women whilst unmarried is illegal and unconstitutional.”
The plaintiff wants the court to rule that such discrimination “violates the Claimant’s rights under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and the said provision should be annulled.”
She also seeks an order directing the defendants “to reinstate” her “to her status as constable without prejudice to her entitlements and promotions which may have accrued to her during the period of her purported dismissal.
In addition, she also wants the court to issue an injunction restraining the defendants from further interfering with her “rights, privileges and performance of her duties as a constable with the 3rd defendant.”
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