His Lordship, Hon. Justice Elizabeth Oji of the Lagos Judicial division of the National Industrial Court has nullified the purported dismissal of Mufutau Olaosun, Temitope Adebayo, and Adesoye Ayokulehin from the Nigeria Police Force, ordered their reinstatement without any loss of rank, salaries, entitlements, and benefits attached thereto within 60 days.
The court held that the process leading to the dismissal of the three police officers did not comply with the Police Regulation Police Act and any known procedure, that the report in orderly room proceeding shows many discrepancies that make it doubtful and unreliable.
From facts, the claimants- Mufutau Olaosun, Temitope Adebayo, and Adesoye Ayokulehin had submitted that they were charged via room trial for discreditable conduct and corrupt practices (Crime) over an arrest made while on duty, and a suspect involved apologized the second time and also regretted the action he took against them because they did not collect any money from him as falsely alleged. They alleged that the Adjudicating Officer was biased in the investigation, as he intentionally concealed the truth and did not consider the statement, Bail Bond, Minute Sheet, and other relevant documents that support their innocence.
The Claimants further stated that the second count charge which is criminal allegation does not fall within the offences that can be tried in the Orderly Room but only in a regular Court, argued that the Defendants were bent on dismissing them in disregard to the principles of fair hearing that the mode of their dismissal was inconsistent with the Police Act and Regulation urged the court to nullify their dismissal.
However, all the processes filed in the case were duly served on the Defendants; the Police Service Commission, Inspector General of Police, and other Defendants failed and or neglected to enter an appearance in defence of the suit.
In defence, the 3rd Defendant, Attorney General of the Federation submitted that there is nothing in the statement of facts that shows any cause of action against them and will not be involved in any likely monetary compensation or damages that might arise in the suit.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Elizabeth Oji held that the Defendants who failed to defend the suit have not challenged the authenticity of the documents tendered by the claimants that justice can only be served by admitting and considering the said documents, and upheld the exhibits tendered as admitted.
“I have considered both reports. The report in orderly room proceeding shows many discrepancies that make it doubtful and unreliable. The Area Commanders comment and the findings and judgment in the Report do not flow from the proceedings and do not agree with the other exhibits tendered at the Orderly Room Trial.
“More crucial is the evidence that the Compol DFA Abeokuta communicated to the Force Complaint Abuja that the Claimants were recommended for dismissal when such was not the case in either of the reports.
“However, the tabulated proceeding in exhibit C12 stated the punishment for count one as major entry of N10.00 (Ten Naira) with warning notice and reduction in rank for count two. There is no place in orderly room proceedings that dismissal was recommended. Yet, the Police Wireless Message transmitted that the Claimants were recommended for dismissal.”