"Discriminatory, illegal, null and void!" - Nigeria court quashes rule that forbids unmarried policewomen getting pregnant

for Tv47 Digital January 12, 2023, 12:31 PM
Nigeria rule on unmarried policewomen
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, struck down a regulation of the Nigeria Police Force prohibiting unmarried female personnel from getting pregnant. PHOTO/COURTESY

In Summary

  • The controversial Regulation 127 of the Nigeria Police Regulation made pursuant to the Police Establishment Act 2020 provides for the dismissal of any unmarried policewoman who gets pregnant.

    • But in a landmark judgement on Wednesday, January 11 at the NICN, Akure Division, Ondo State, South-west Nigeria, the judge, D. K. Damulak, held that the police regulation is “discriminatory, illegal, null and void.”

    In Nigeria, there existed a police regulation that forbade unmarried female officers from getting pregnant.

    As per the regulation, a female police officer who is not married would be dismissed whenever she gets pregnant.

    It is however a sigh of relief for female officers after the National Industrial Court of Nigeria on Wednesday, January 11 struck out the regulation.

    In a landmark judgment, a judge ruled that the regulation was “discriminatory, illegal, null and void”.

    The ruling was informed after a policewoman filed a suit challenging her sacking on grounds of discrimination since her male counterparts are not dismissed in similar circumstances.

    "The court finds and holds that the provision [of the regulation], which applies to unmarried women police officers getting pregnant while in service but does not apply to unmarried male police officers impregnating females while they are in service, is discriminatory,” Justice Dashe Damulak ruled.

    Additionally, the policewoman was awarded 5m naira (an equivalent of KSh1,374,180) in compensation for the violation of her fundamental right to freedom.

    It however ruled that she could not be reinstated to the police service, as she had sought, as she was on probation at the time of her dismissal.

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