EKITI, Nigeria – The Police Command has defended the dismissal of a Police Constable, Miss Olajide Omolola, who got pregnant in alleged flagrant violation of the Police Rules and Regulations.
Omolola, who was attached to the Iye Ekiti Police Station in Ilejemeje area of Ekiti State, was dismissed last week by the police authority, for getting pregnant barely a year after graduating from the police academy.
Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, the Police Commissioner, Ekiti Command, Babatunde Mobayo, said Omolola violated section 127 of the police regulation, which carries serious punitive measures against flouters.
Mobayo stated that the rule is unambiguous that a woman police must undergo post-training experience on the field for at least two years before marriage and three years before childbearing.
Mobayo said: “In police organisation, we have rules and regulations, which are being carried out within the ambit of the constitution. The Police officers are not even allowed to keep their children that are above 18 years of age in the barracks. Some of these laws were taught in the police Colleges before we graduated.
“These laws have been there. Some stipulated the number of years you must spend before you get married. If you are in police College, you are not supposed to get pregnant. When you pass out, you still need basic training and for your attention not to be distracted, you must spend a certain minimum of time before you get married for you to perform efficiently.
“The lady in question passed out May, 2020, which is eight months ago and now she is six months pregnant. The Police Act 2020, which is undergoing amendment in the Senate has not repealed that. She had contravened Section 127 of the police regulation.
“Section 126 of the regulation stated that a married woman police who is pregnant may be granted maternity leave, while Section 127 said unmarried woman police who become pregnant shall be discharged from the Force and shall not be enlisted except with the approval of the IGP.
“What some people talk about that her fundamental human rights had been trampled upon and that women should not be discriminated against while also saying the law has been repealed was not true. The regulation is still in place”.
Contrary to the widespread belief that the regulation has been expunged, Mobayo maintained the Police Amendment Bill 2019, which was brought and sponsored by Senator Uzenwa Onyebuchi at the Senate has not been passed, saying it has only got to the second reading.
“The amendment being sought has not been done nor had the bill gotten presidential assent. It has just been referred to the Senate Committee on Police Affairs for further scrutiny. Aside from the foregoing, the amended Police Act is different from police regulation”, Mobayo clarified.
Speaking further, the Police Commissioner stated that he had been a Commandant in one of the Police Colleges before becoming a CP, saying he handled several cases akin to this with victims dismissed, having flouted the law, saying this could not have been treated as an exemption.
“I felt for that lady, though I never saw her before. We saw the medical report and we did due diligence on her case.
We can’t shy away from the oath of office we took, but the IGP can still reverse whatever we do on the field.
“About 300 policewomen graduated here last year. How would the public feel if they see all of them pregnant in less than a year? It will look ridiculous. We are not the drafters of the rules, we met them there. All these disciplinary actions are what made us able to control our men. No Police Constable is underaged and they should be able to know what to do not to get pregnant within the time prohibited by regulation”.