The Nigeria Police Force has sacked an unmarried female corporal, Olajide Omolola, for getting pregnant.
This is contained in a police wireless message with reference number CJ:4161/EKS/IY/Vol.2/236, DTO:181330/01/2021 which was obtained by The PUNCH.
The signal originated from the Department of Finance and Administration in Ado Ekiti and was addressed to the Divisional Police Officer at Iye Ekiti where Omolola is based.
In the document it was stated that Omolola completed police training on April 24, 2020 and was attached to Iye Ekiti.
The chief financial officer in Ekiti was asked to relay the information of her dismissal to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System to ensure that her salary is stopped.
The document read, “Section 127 of the Police Act and Regulation against women police getting pregnant before marriage W/PC (woman corporal) Olajide Omolola passed out of Police Training School on 24/04/2020 attached to yours contravened above provisions.
“She stands dismissed from the Force. Dekit her. Retrieve police documents in her possession with immediate effect. O/C CFO Ekiti only. You are to relay signal to IPPIS Abuja for the stoppage of her salary with immediate effect.
“DECOMPOLS (deputy commissioners of police)/ACPOLS (assistant commissioners of police)/HODs/DPOs Ekiti State only. You are to lecture women police. Treat as very urgent.”
Investigations by The PUNCH, however, showed that the aspect of the Police Act which was being relied on to justify the sacking of the policewoman had been repealed in the amended Police Act that was signed into law by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in September 2020.
Part of the old law which has been repealed also made it compulsory for policewomen to seek the permission of their superiors before getting married.
Speaking with our correspondent on Sunday, a champion for police reforms in Nigeria, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, who is also the Regional Director for Ford Foundation, West Africa, said indeed, the aspect of the Police Act which barred unmarried policewomen from getting pregnant had been repealed.
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Chukwuma, however, said the law had not yet been gazetted hence the ignorance of its provisions by the police.
He said, “That aspect of the law which is discriminatory against women has been repealed. However, the law has not been gazetted but it doesn’t mean it should not be upheld. Gazetting is a mere administrative process. It entails officially publishing and making it available to all stakeholders and government establishments. Until that is done, they are usually reluctant to uphold the law.”
Human rights activists have in recent time kicked against discriminatory laws against women especially those working in security agencies.
In August 2020, the Nigerian Army dismissed a soldier for getting pregnant after she was raped by suspected bandits while travelling to Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
The rape victim was charged with one count of ‘conduct prejudicial to service discipline,’ found guilty and dismissed from the regiment.