Olawale Fapohunda, Ekiti state attorney-general and commissioner for justice, has instituted a lawsuit against Adamu Mohammed, inspector-general of police, over the dismissal of a pregnant policewoman.
Omolola Olajide, an unmarried female police corporal attached to Iye-Ekiti station, was sacked for getting pregnant.
Babatunde Mobayo, the state commissioner of police, had justified Olajide’s sack, saying the policewoman contravened section 127 of the police regulation which recommends punitive measures.
Section 127 of the police act and regulations provides that “an unmarried woman police officer who becomes pregnant shall be discharged from the force and shall not be re-enlisted except with the approval of the Inspector-General”.
Fapohunda, in the suit filed at the federal high court, Ado Ekiti, is seeking “an order of court declaring Section 127 of the Police Act and Regulations which provides for the discharge from the Police Force, women police officers who become pregnant while unmarried unconstitutional”.
Ekiti state commissioner of police and the police service commission are joined as co-defendants in the suit, according to a statement by Olalekan Suleman, special assistant to the state AG on media.
“The suit is asking the court to determine among others: whether provisions of Section 127 of Police Act and Regulations are not in violation of the combined provisions of Sections 37 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), and Articles 2,3, 5 18(3) and 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and therefore unconstitutional, null and void,” the statement read.
“An order nullifying Section 127 of Police Act and Regulations as well as an order of perpetual injunction restraining Inspector General of Police, Ekiti State Commissioner of Police and the Police Service Commission from implementing the said provisions.”
It added that the attorney-general has also written to the IGP, offering the support of the state ministry of justice in conducting a gender audit of the police act and regulations.
“The AG reiterated Ekiti State Government’s commitment to the eradication of all forms of discrimination against women in public and private life and as such had enacted several laws including the Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2020 (as amended) and enabled policies aimed at protecting the rights of women in Ekiti State,” it added.