The Federal High Court sitting Ado-Ekiti on Thursday dismissed the suit by the Ekiti Government against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) over the dismissal of a pregnant officer on grounds of abuse of court processes.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ekiti’s Attorney-General, Wale Fapounda, in the suit, 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.
Delivering judgment, the judge, Babs Kuewumi, said:”this suit can not validly co-exist with the suit at the National Industrial Court, sitting in Akure in Ondo State with suit number: NICN/AK/14/2021.
“The Originating Summons of this suit is hereby dismissed.”
Mr Kuewumi had, however, earlier decided in favour of the plaintiff the reliefs bordering on “locus standi”, whether the court has jurisdiction and whether the appropriate parties have been joined in the suit.
The plaintiff’s reliefs were opposed to by the respondents, Femi Falade, in the Preliminary Objection with an 18 paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Ariyo and a written address.
NAN reports that Mr Fapounda acting in public interest had approached the court seeking the interpretation of the constitutionality of Section 127 of the Police Service Regulation Act, 2001.
He told the court that the dismissal of the policewoman, an indigene of Ekiti, on the ground that she got pregnant before being legally married violates her fundamental right as entrenched in the Constitution of Nigeria,1999( as amended).
Mr Fapounda therefore sought the interpretation of Section 127 Police Regulation.
But Mr Falade, counsel to the respondents, opposed the plaintiff’s prayers, saying similar suit had been instituted at the National Industrial Court, Akure.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the judgment, Mr Fapounda said he had sought from the court, a copy of the judgment in order to know the next line of action.
He expressed delight on the court pronouncement on the reliefs that he has the “locus standi” to institute the suit that will be of public interest, especially for the indigents, saying female police officers should be treated the same way with their male counterparts.