The police command in Ekiti has justified the dismissal of Olajide Omolola, a police constable, who got pregnant in violation of force rules and regulation.
Omolola, attached to Iye-Ekiti police station in Ilejemeje local government area of Ekiti, was dismissed for getting pregnant barely a year after graduating from police academy.
Addressing journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, Babatunde Mobayo, the state commissioner of police, said Olajide contravened section 127 of the police regulation which recommends punitive measures against anyone who contravened it.
According to him, the rules and regulation stated that a policewoman must undergo post-training experience on the field for, at least, two years before marriage and three years before childbearing.
“In police organisation, we have rules and regulations, which are being carried out within the ambit of the constitution,” Mobayo said.
“Police officers are not even allowed to keep their children, who are above 18 years of age, in the barracks. We were all taught some of these laws in police colleges before we graduated.
“The laws are there. Some even stipulate the number of years you must spend before you get married. If you are in Police College, you are not supposed to get pregnant.
“Even after you have passed out from the college, you still need some basic training, and for your attention not to be distracted, you must spend certain period before you get married, for you to be able to perform efficiently.
“The lady in question passed out in May 2020, which was eight months ago and now, she is six months pregnant.
“The Police Act, 2020, which is currently undergoing amendment in the senate, has not repealed that. So she has contravened section 127.”
Mobayo also quoted Section 126 of the regulation as stating that any married woman police who was pregnant might be granted maternity leave.
“Whereas, section 127 says an unmarried policewoman, who becomes pregnant, shall be discharged from the Force and shall not be enlisted, except with the approval of the inspector-general of police (IGP),” he explained.
“The argument of some people that her fundamental human rights had been trampled upon; that women should not be discriminated against and that the law had been repealed, are not true. The regulation is still in place.”
The police commissioner said he was once a commandant in a police college before heading a command and that he handled several similar cases where the victims were dismissed.
“I felt for the lady, even though I have never seen 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 that we took, but the IGP can still reverse whatever we might have done on the field.
“About 300 policewomen were graduated here last year. How will the public feel if they see all of them getting pregnant in less than a year?
“It will certainly appear ridiculous. And, we are not the drafters of the rules; we met them there. All these disciplinary actions are what made us to be able to control our personnel.
“Police constables are not under-aged. So they should be able to know what to do not to get pregnant within the time prohibited by the police rules and regulation.”