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IGP Risks Contempt Charge Over Non Compliance With Court Order

The Kano Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court has directed the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission to reinstate a Police Officer, Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, to the substantive rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police and report compliance to the court on January, 20.
The order given on the 9th day of December, 2015, by the Presiding Judge, Justice Lawal Mani, followed an Ex-parte application filed on by Counsel to Mr Abubakar, Barrister Muktar Musa who stood in for Barrister Victor O. Odjemu of LAW PARTNERS Chambers praying the court to direct the defendants to fully comply with the earlier judgment of the court delivered on May 21st, 2014 and reaffirmed on December 9th, 2014.
Barrister Musa argued that the defendants have refused to obey the judgment of the court that directed them to reinstate his client to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police being the rank he was promoted to as per the Senior Police Officers list printed on the 14th of August, 2012. Mr Abdullahi Abubakar’s name was number 115 and posted to “B OPS” department Kaduna State Command as an Assistant Commissioner of Police. The list was admitted as an exhibit during the main trial and marked “A 1”.
In a letter dated 14th December, 2015, addressed to the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and copied to the Inspector General of Police, the lead Counsel to Mr Abubakar, Barrister Odjemu warned the defendants to either comply with the consequential order of the court and report same on or before the 20th of January, 2016 or they would be cited for contempt of court.
In the main Judgment (delivered on May 21st, 2014 and reaffirmed on December 9th, 2014), Justice Lawan Mani of Kano Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, ruled that the suspension of Mr Abdullahi Abubakar in February 1995 from the Nigeria Police Force without being charged, arraigned or convicted before any court of law for any criminal offence is unlawful, illegal, null and void.
He ordered that Abdullahi Abubakar (who was an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, when he was suspended ) was still in the service of the Nigeria Police Force and should be reinstated with his full rank, position and benefits and in addition be paid his salaries, allowances and entitlements from the 7th of February 1995 to date. The court directed for the payment of N33, 853, 824:62K (Thirty Three Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Four Naira, Sixty Two Kobo Only) to the plaintiff for wrongful suspension from service.
Justice Lawan Mani further directed the defendants to comply with his orders within 30 days from the date of the judgment on the 21st of May 2014 and reaffirmed on the 9th of December 2014 after Counsel to the Police Authorities, Barrister S.O.Ekwe, unsuccessfully sought for an order of the court to set aside the judgment.
As the defendants refused to comply with the judgment, Barrister Odjemu wrote two letters to the Inspector General of Police on the 15th of December, 2014 and on the 28th of January 2015, reminding them of the court orders and appealed for compliance. The Defendants also ignored the letters and did not respond to the appeal.
Subsequently, Barrister Victor Odjemu went back to the court on the 7th of May, 2015, and applied for a “garnishee order nisi” attaching monies of the Police Authorities in the hands of 19 Banks to satisfy the judgment to the sum of N33, 853, 824:62K. Justice Mani granted the application in the “interest of justice” and ordered the 19 Banks to appear before him on the 26th of May, 2015, to show cause why an “absolute order” should not be made for the payment of the money to the Judgment/Creditor from the monies of the defendants in their custody.
Appearances from the Banks and the Police authorities were made before the court on the set date and it was agreed by both parties that the defendants would fully comply with the court orders but counsel to Mr Abdullahi Abubakar has now gone back to the court complaining of yet another non compliance.

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