Contempt Of Court: Police IG Risks Jail Term
One Michael Agha, a disengaged police officer, on Tuesday asked the Federal High Court in Makurdi to commit the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, to prison for disobeying court order.
Agha, who claimed to have been wrongfully dismissed from the force, dragged the police chief to court to show cause 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 on 12 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.
The explained that he was dismissed because he wore a Mobile Police face cap to the Police Headquarters, Makurdi on a day it was drizzling.
He said an ASP asked why he wore a face cap when the then Commissioner of Police, a few days earlier had banned it.
Agha said he explained to the ASP that he did not know about the ban, but the ASP took up the issue with him which eventually led to his dismissal from the force.
Aggrieved by the treatment, he headed to a Makurdi High Court to contest his dismissal, where his case was thrown out.
Agha appealed the judgment at the Court of Appeal, Jos, and the appeal was allowed.
He said the appellate court on 12 May, 1997 set aside the judgment of the Benue High Court and ordered that he be reinstated forthwith and paid all his entitlements.
The applicant stated that all efforts to get the Police to comply with the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal 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, counsel to the applicant, Tarfa Achinge, informed the court that the case was for hearing of Form 49 of the Judgment Enforcement Rules.
He however, said that he got information from counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents, Gabriel Ebonyi, that a window of opportunity for an out-of- court settlement had shown up, and asked for adjournment.
In his ruling, the judge, Justice Hassan Dikko, told counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents to urge his bosses to take pity on 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.