The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has approached the court to file a motion to set aside the contempt proceeding and committal order issued against him.
On Tuesday, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Abuja sentenced the police chief to three months in prison for disobeying a court order.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Olajuwon issued the order following a suit filed by a former police officer, Patrick Okoli who claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigeria Police Force.
But in the motion filed before the Federal High Court in the Federal Capital Territory on Thursday, IGP Baba said that he had not been appointed into office as Inspector-General of Police when the case was instituted and the reinstatement order in question granted.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi disclosed this in a statement he issued on Friday.
Adejobi said the IGP has also affirmed that the contempt proceedings were served via substituted means in November 2018 and January 2019 respectively, on the then Inspector-General of Police, and not on him as the incumbent.
He noted that even before the assumption of the office of the IGP, official steps had been taken by his predecessors toward complying with the reinstatement of Patrick C. Okoli, the plaintiff, as ordered by the court.
According to him, this was evidenced by an official letter addressed to the Police Service Commission on the approval of the then Inspector General of Police, as far back as 2015, and before the court order of November 29th, 2022, requesting the Commission to issue a reinstatement letter to the plaintiff and also affect his promotion in line with the order of the Court and in the exercise of their statutory authority in that regard.
The IGP reassured Nigerians of his unalloyed commitment and steadfastness in defending the rule of law and respecting judicial authorities and hence, will not wittingly or unwittingly disobey any order validly granted by courts of competent jurisdiction.