Court dismisses NBAs suit on unmarried female police officers who get pregnant

Court dismisses NBAs suit on unmarried female police officers who get pregnant

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a challenge filed by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to have certain parts of the Nigeria Police Regulations struck down (NPR). In January 2021, the Nigeria Police Force fired Olajide Omolola, an unmarried female corporal, for becoming pregnant.
The NBA subsequently filed a lawsuit, requesting the court to declare that the NPR’s Regulations 126 and 127, enacted under the Police Act, are in conflict with sections 37 and 42 of the Constitution, among other things.
“A married woman police officer who is pregnant may be awarded maternal leave in accordance with the terms of the general orders,” according to Regulation 126.
Regulation 127 provides: “An unmarried woman police officer, who becomes pregnant, shall be discharged from the Force and shall not be re-enlisted except with the approval of the Inspector General of Police.
” The NBA claimed that such provisions conflict with the Constitution and discriminate against unmarried female police officers Section 37 of the Constitution guarantees every Nigerian the right to private and family life, while Section 42 provides for the rights to freedom from discrimination.
The NBA said that both provisions in the NPR do not only discriminate against unmarried female police officers, but it has also rendered many childless for fear of being sacked But, in a judgment on Monday, Feb. 21, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that there was nothing discriminatory or unlawful about the provisions in Regulations 126 and 127 of the NPR.
Justice Ekwo held that having willingly enlisted into the police, and being aware of the regulations, it was wrong for an unmarried female police officer to flout the same regulations.

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