A lawsuit filed by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) seeking to void some provisions in the Nigeria Police Regulations (NPR) has been dismissed by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Recall that in January 2021, the Nigeria Police Force sacked an unmarried female corporal, Olajide Omolola, for getting pregnant.
The NBA then filed a suit, asking the court to declare, among others, that the Regulations 126 and 127 of the NPR, made pursuant to the Police Act, conflict with sections 37 and 42 of the Constitution.
Regulation 126 provides: "A married woman police officer, who is pregnant, may be granted maternal leave in accordance with the provisions of the general orders".
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.