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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dismissed Police Officer Asks Court To Jail Inspector General Of Police

Mr. Michael Agha, a dismissed police officer, yesterday asked the federal high court in Makurdi to commit the Inspector-General of Police to prison for disobeying a court order.

Agha, who claimed to have been wrongfully dismissed from the force, asked the IG to explain why an order of committal to prison should not be made against him.

The committal was because of the IG’s refusal to pay him all his entitlements as ordered by court of appeal, Jos division since May 12, 1997.

Joined in the suit were the attorney-general of the federation and the Benue commissioner of police.

Agha in his affidavit filed before the federal high court, Makurdi, deposed that he enlisted in the Nigerian police force in 1977, and was unlawfully dismissed from the force in 1988, while serving at 13PMF, Makurdi, Benue.

He said that he was dismissed because he wore a mobile police fez cap to the police headquarters, Makurdi on a day it was drizzling.

Agha said an assistant commissioner of police (ASP) asked why he wore a face cap when the then commissioner of police, had banned it a few days earlier.

Agha said he explained that he did not know about the ban, but that the ASP took up the issue with him which eventually led to his dismissal.

Aggrieved by the treatment, he headed to a Makurdi high court to contest the disciplinary action, but the case was thrown out.

Agha appealed the judgment at the court of appeal, Jos, and there it was allowed.

He said on May 12, 1997, the appellate court set aside the judgment of the Benue high court and ordered that he be reinstated forthwith and paid all his entitlements.

The applicant said all efforts to get the police to comply with the judgment had failed.

He therefore, headed to the federal high court, Makurdi, and filed a contempt proceeding against the IG and two others.

When the case was called for hearing, Tarfa Achinge, counsel to the applicant, informed the court that the case was for the hearing of form 49 of the judgment enforcement rules.

However, Mr. Achinge said he got information from Gabriel Ebonyi, counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents, that there was a window of opportunity for an out-of-court settlement, and asked for adjournment.

Mr. Ebonyi, who did not oppose the application, promised the court that he would make further effort to get his superiors to comply with the judgment of the court of appeal without necessarily hearing the form 49.

Form 49 of the judgment enforcement rules filed before the court required the respondents to show cause why an order of committal to prison should not be made against them.

In his ruling, Hassan Dikko, the judge, told counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents to urge the police authorities to pity the “poor applicant” and comply with the order of the court of appeal.

Dikko adjourned the matter till April 5, 2017, for report of settlement.

- So if Form 49 is enforced, the IG of Police will be sent to prison? Issokay!