Police Female Officer Olajide Omotola:
The Nigeria Police Force has no Power to Test, Pass or Fail Female Officers on Virginity Test based on Colonial Police regulation, Justice Babs Kuewumi Needs to Move Nigeria Pass this Institutional Madness
One reason for Police Corporal Olajide Omotolagetting a letter of dismissal from her new lifelong career is that she failed a virginity test in a male dominated police authority, the Nigeria police force.
She is being punished for been born a female, single, and having the guts to become loaded with pregnancy.
How dare she became pregnant without the final consent of the male led police authority?
Ms. Omotola, like many invisible female victims is being discriminated against based largely on British colonial-era relics, that also had women in the police force prefixed with a letter W (e.g. "WPC" for Constable).
Instead of making accommodations for her under a non-discriminatory policy that allows for light duty, she's not only suffered pregnancy discrimination but was also wrongfully discharged and denied her livelihood and that of the expected child. Denying her the main source of income is prejudicial, barbaric, primitive, and sadistic.
For all these months she has continued to be placed under psychological, emotional, physical, and legal stress, just for having a medical condition that is temporal.
If the Nigeria Police Force can only move beyond their colonial 1930 and 2004 Police Regulations, it will come to terms with the fact that pregnancy progresses just like physical falls or injuries are followed by physical recovery.
Recently, Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, stated, “I am of the view that precedents that no longer make sense anymore or are outdated should be laid to rest and never followed”.
The Nigeria police authority either by way of ignorance, refusal or absurdity discriminated against the female officer, Cpl Omotola by using Section 127 of the Police Act of 2004; “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.”
The Nigeria Police Force (Establishment) Act, 2020 (‘the new Act’) which came into force on the 17th of September 2020, longed repealed the Police Act of 2004.
Even when in September last year, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, which repeals the Police Act, 2004 with all its discriminatory rules towards single and married females, she still faces gender inequality and dismissal.
Another cruel rule now outlawed by the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 is Section 124. According to the section, “A woman police officer who is desirous of marrying must first apply in writing to the Commissioner of Police for the State Command in which she is serving, requesting permission to marry and giving name, address and occupation of the person she intends to marry. Permission will be granted for the marriage if the intended husband is of good character and the woman police officer has served in the force for a period of not less than three years.”
Omotola’s dismissal letter with the reference number CJ:4161/EKS/IY/Vol.2/236, DTO:181330/01/2021 read: “Section 127 of the Police Act and Regulation against women police getting pregnant before marriage W/PC (woman corporal) Olajide Omolola passed out of Police Training School on 24/04/2020 attached to yours contravened above provisions.”
There is a need for a gender-based audit to see how many unmarried policemen with children have ever received a similar letter since 1930 when the Southern and Northern police forces were merged as the Nigeria police force.
In this 21st century, how does the above colonial police mentality in the age of the social media makes Nigeria move with time?
A question that the honorable Judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti should ask himself.
The great psychological philosopher Aristotle outlined, the Rule of Law in his work titled Politics as a principle that all people and organizations within a country, state, or community are held accountable to the same set of laws.
In Africa, Nigeria in particular, rule by the will of the "big man” continues to dampen the rise of democratic institutions as seen here in the battle between the Police Female Officer Olajide Omotola and the colonialistic and unsettled male dominated Nigeria Police force.
Nigeria still functions under a Constitution, no matter its weaknesses, as such Omotola’s police discrimination “violates the Claimant’s rights under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
An headline I once read in 2018 had a bold title, “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand the daughter of a police officer is an unmarried 37-year-old named Jacinda Ardern, is about to give birth and going on a maternity leave”. A food for thought for The Nigeria police authority.
There is need for the court to take into consideration the apparent infliction of emotional distress, mental anguish, and medical/psychological pains on Ms Omotola by the Nigeria Police authority.
In addition to getting reinstated, her lost wages and time, and any other financial losses should receive compensation which will teach the current police force which needs to be decentralized into State and Local government police, a lasting lesson.
In the 21st century, in this age of social media, how does all the indicated colonial police rules makes Nigeria moves with time, a question that the honorable Judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti should ask himself.
Prof John Egbeazien Oshodi, an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government Consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional and Career Development. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African settings especially. The Development Professor and International Liaison Consultant at the African University of Benin, and a Virtual Faculty at the ISCOM University, Benin of Republic. Author of over 35 academic publications/creations, at least 200 public opinion writeups on African issues, and various books.
Prof. Oshodi was born in Uromi, Edo State, Nigeria. Comes to Nigeria periodically visits home for scholastic and humanitarian works. [email protected]