The Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA), a non-governmental organisation, has asked Mohammed Adamu, the inspector general of police (IGP), to reinstate Olajide Omolola, an unmarried female police corporal, sacked for getting pregnant.
Olajide, was attached to Iye-Ekiti police station in Ilejemeje local government area of Ekiti state.
While justifying her dismissal, Babatunde Mobayo, Ekiti state commissioner of police, said Olajide contravened section 127 of the police regulation which recommends punitive measures.
According to him, the rules and regulation states that a policewoman must undergo post-training experience on the field for, at least, two years before marriage and three years before childbearing.
“The lady in question passed out in May 2020, which was eight months ago and now, she is six months pregnant,” he said.
“The Police Act, 2020, which is currently undergoing amendment in the senate, has not repealed that. So she has contravened section 127.”
In a letter addressed to the IGP on Thursday, Funmi Falana, WELA spokesperson, described Olajide’s dismissal as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
She argued that section 127 of the police regulation discriminates against police women, since it does not apply to policemen.
“The Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA) has confirmed that by a Wireless Message with Reference No C/4161/EKS/TY/Vol.2/236, DTO:181330/01/2021 Corporal Omotola of the Ekiti State Police Command was dismissed for getting pregnant while she is not married,” the letter read.
“The most fundamental issue is if this is the policy laid down for the police, does it apply to the men folk. It is not. So it is only issued to women police officers because of their gender as women and this is very much unconstitutional.
“Under Section 5(3) of the Police Act 2020, the Nigeria Police Force is charged with the responsibility of promoting and protecting the fundamental rights of all persons as guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“In view of the foregoing, you will agree with us that Section 127 of the Police Regulation which discriminates against police women is illegal and unconstitutional. In other words, since policemen who impregnate women before marriage are allowed to remain in the Nigeria Police Force. It is discriminatory and unjust to dismiss a police woman for getting pregnant before marriage.
“Finally, as it is indisputable that Corporal Omotola is entitled to freedom from discrimination guaranteed by Section 42 of the Constitution and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights we request you to use your good offices to order her reinstatement not later than January 31, 2021.”
The group further threatened to challenge the dismissal at the National Industrial Court and pray for the annulment of regulation 127 made pursuant to the Police Act, 2020
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