The police in Ekiti State on Thursday said the constable who became pregnant six months after graduating from the police college violated Section 127 of the Police Regulation.
Babatunde Mobayo, the state police commissioner, told journalists in Ado-Ekiti that violating the regulation carries serious punitive measures.
Olajide Omolola, who was attached to the Iye Ekiti Police Station in Ilejemeje area of Ekiti State, was dismissed from the force last year for getting pregnant barely a year after graduating from the police academy.
The police said her pregnancy was in flagrant violation of the Police Rules and Regulation.
Mr Mobayo told journalists that the rule and regulation were unambiguous that female officers must undergo post training experience on the field for at least two years before marriage and three years before child-bearing.
“In police organisation, we have rules and regulations, which are being carried out within the ambit of the constitution,” the police chief said.
“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.”
The decision to dismiss Ms Omolola from the force raised concerns among rights groups who argue that such laws weigh heavily against women.
But Mr Mobayo maintained that such laws are necessary to avoid the officers being distracted during trainings.
“When you passed out, you still need basic trainings and for your attention not to be distracted, you must spend certain minimum of period before you get married for you to perform efficiently,” he said.
“The lady in question passed out May 2020, which is eight months ago and now she is with six months pregnancy. The Police Act 2020, which is undergoing amendment in the Senate has not repealed that.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 an unmarried woman police who becomes pregnant shall be discharged from the Force and shall not be enlisted except with the approval of the IGP.
“What some people talked 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 were not true. The regulation is still in place.”
Mr Mobayo further maintained that the Police Amendment Bill 2019, which was brought and sponsored by a Senator, Uzenwa Onyebuchi, at the Senate had not been passed , saying it had only got to the second reading.
“The amendment being sought has not been done neither had the bill got presidential assent,” he said.
” It has just been referred to the Senate Committee on Police Affairs for further scrutiny. Aside the foregoing, the amended Police Act is different from police regulation.”
According to him, he had been a Commandant in one of the Police Colleges before becoming a CP, and had handled several cases similar to the current case.
He said the issue affecting the female police officer could not be an exemption.
“I felt for that lady, though I never saw her before. We saw the medical report and we did due diligence on her case,” the commissioner said.
“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 were 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 to be 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.”
The police reaction is coming after it received bashing from rights groups over the dismissal.
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