Dismissed Police Widow Seeks Justice



IGPnew 600By Livinus Saint Kaior–Abuja.

A dismissed police widow Mrs. Caroline Ugochukwu who recently lost her motor due to her inability to fund her hospital bills has appealed to the Nigeria Senate to compel the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar and the Police Service Commission to reinstate her and pay her salaries and entitlements up to date in line with the judgment of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

In a petition to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Sen. Paulinus Igwe, dated 13th day of May 2013 signed by her lawyer Alexander Oketa, copy of which was exclusively obtained by our National Assembly Correspondent, the petitioner averred that her client was a sergeant in the Nigeria Police Force and had served for over 19 years before she was unlawfully dismissed in year 2009 on an allegation that she has caused the escape of detainees from custody.The petition said the allegation was later found to be false.

The dismissed widow who is now unable to fend for her underaged children approached the Federal High Court in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/513/09 between Caroline Ugwochukwu vs IGP and 3 others to seek redress. She further claimed that on 23rd day of May, 2012, the Federal High Court presided over by His Lordship, Hon. Justice D.U. Okorowo found in her favour and ordered for the reinstatement of Sergent Caroline Ugwochukwu. Part of the judgment read, “It is hereby ordered as follows: It is hereby declared that the dismissal of the plaintiff is illegal, unlawful, null and void and violate the plaintiff’s right to fair hearing.

That the defendants (the IGP, the Police Service Commission etc) are compelled to forthwith reinstate the plaintiff into the Nigeria Police Force and to accord entitlements due to her office as Sergent”.
“That the defendants, IGP and Police Service Commission are compelled to pay the plaintiff her salaries commencing from the date of last payment until she retires from Police Force”.
“That the defendants should pay the plaintiff the sum of N1m (One Million Naira)only as general damages. The judgement according to the petition was formally communicated to the Inspector General of Police and the Chairman, Police Service Commission shortly thereafter but uptill date the judgement has not been complied with either in part or wholly.

Most disturbing now,the petition said , is the dehumanizing way and manner she is being treated each time she visits the office of the Nigeria Police in pursuit of her reinstatement as she is no longer attended to or allowed entrance to the offices of the Nigeria Police. The petitioner further stressed that the last time she visited the office of the Commissioner of Police FCT.

She was physically pushed out of the office by the Commissioner’s personal assistant who with a threat of arrest and detention if she is seen next in the commissioner’s office.

The dismissed woman police who is now seeking justice in her country is said to be a poor widow with underaged children who are now out of school also claimed in their petition that she has suffered mental agony, untold hardship and humiliation since 1999 till date. While her mates in the Nigeria Police Force have since been promoted to the rank of “Inspectors” whereas she has been left with no means of livelihood for about five years now leading to the death of her mother due to lack of money for proper medical attention.

“She is therefore appealing to the Nigeria Senate as her last hope to compel the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission to immediately reinstate her to the Nigeria Police in line with the judgment of the Federal High Court which was left unchallenged by the defendants because they both had no defence to her action whatsoever, hence her appeal for reinstatement and promotion to the next rank effective from year 2010 and payment of her salaries and entitlements from the month of June 2009 till date including payment of the awarded general damages of N1m which according to the petition was an order general damages was order by a competent court of law which requires all government agencies to ensure that the sanctity of the law is always protected,” the petition said.

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