Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti, has set aside October 6 to give judgment in the suit filed by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti State, Olawale Fapohunda, challenging the dismissal of a pregnant unmarried female police officer, Omolola Olajide, by the Inspector-General of Police.
Olajide who was enlisted as an officer in the Ekiti state police command was dismissed from the service in February this year after she was discovered to be six months pregnant while still being single and unofficially married. According to the state police spokesperson, Sunday Abutu, it is embarrassing for an unmarried policewoman to get pregnant, According to him, it is against the police act.
Shortly after her dismissal, the Ekiti state Attorney General filed a lawsuit challenging her dismissal while insisting it is an abuse of her fundamental human rights. The Ekiti State Commissioner of Police and the Police Service Commission were joined as co-defendants in the suit.
Fapohunda in his lawsuit is seeking “an order of the court to nullify Section 127 of the Police Act and Regulations, which provides for the discharge from the police force female officers, who become pregnant while married unofficially.” Counsel for the IG, Femi Falade, urged the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the AG lacked the locus standi to challenge the decision of the police to dismiss the officer.
“The victim filed a suit over her dismissal at the industrial court in Akure in February. It will amount to an abuse of court processes to grant the prayers of the plaintiff in view of the one at the industrial court,” Falade stated.
However, the AG urged the court to discountenance the plea of the defendants and deliver its judgment in the interest of justice for the affected policewoman and other women in the police force.
“I understand this suit is novel that an AG will take this step, but if you ask me, the AG has an important role to defend citizens’ rights. This is a clear case of infraction and we are seeking to protect the Chapter 4 (of the Constitution); that is, the right not to discriminate; it is clear. It is not just about an individual, but the right of women” Fapohunda said