The President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Joe Okei-Odumakin, has urged the Inspector-General Police, Mohammed Adamu, to sack all policemen who impregnated women out of wedlock.
Okei-Odumakin was reacting to the sacking of an unmarried female corporal, Olajide Omolola, who was dismissed for getting pregnant.
The activist, who spoke on a PUNCH Live programme on Thursday, described the dismissal of Omolola as “pure discrimination”.
According to her, many male operatives in the Nigeria Police Force have at one time or the other impregnated ladies whom they were not married to.
She stressed that the Force must respect the equality of rights, and accord same regard to both genders in the Force.
Okei-Odumakin said, “It is quite insensitive. The decision of the police authorities typifies the assault encountered by the average Nigerian woman in their workplace. We should be able to interrogate the system and also find out if the leadership within the system can also provide the number of men within the police force who have impregnated women out of wedlock and that have also served similar punishment.”
She noted that “it is quite sad knowing that at this point in the history of our country, an institution like the Nigeria Police Force” could slam such heavy punishment on a policewoman.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Nigerians expressed outrage over the sacking of Omolola.
They slammed the police over what they described as a discriminatory law and called on rights group to fight for the woman.
The police, in a wireless message with reference number CJ:4161/EKS/IY/Vol.2/236, DTO:181330/01/2021 obtained by The PUNCH, said Omolola was dismissed for getting pregnant while unmarried.
The signal originated from the Department of Finance and Administration in Ado Ekiti and was addressed to the Divisional Police Officer at Iye Ekiti, where Omolola was based.
The chief financial officer in Ekiti was asked to relay the information to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System to ensure that her salary was stopped.
The document 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.
“She stands dismissed from the Force. Dekit her. Retrieve police documents in her possession with immediate effect. O/C CFO Ekiti only. You are to relay signal to IPPIS Abuja for the stoppage of her salary with immediate effect.
“DECOMPOLS (Deputy Commissioners of Police)/ACPOLS (Assistant Commissioners of Police)/HODs/DPOs Ekiti State only. You are to lecture women police. Treat as very urgent.”
It was gathered that the aspect of the Act relied on to justify the sacking had been repealed in the amended police Act signed into law by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in September 2020.
Part of the old law, which has been repealed, also made it compulsory for policewomen to seek the permission of their superiors before getting married.
But Okei-Odumakin said, “To justify her sack is really very sad. Our institutions must respect the equality of rights.”