A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) seeking to invalidate some provisions in the Nigeria Police Force Regulations (NPFR) which forbid unmarried female police officers from getting pregnant.
The Nigerian Bar Association had approached the court to challenge the legality of regulation 127 of the NPFR, arguing that the said provision contradicts the 1999 constitution and is discriminatory to unmarried female police officers.
The regulation, provides that “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 of police”.
Citing the instance of Omolola Olajide, a female police officer who was fired on January 26, 2021, in Ekiti state for becoming pregnant while unmarried, NBA said such discriminatory regulations have made many female officers childless for fear of being fired.
“The male police officers and married female police officers in the Nigeria Police Force are not subjected to similar discrimination, sanction, opprobrium and indignity,” the association said.
“There are many unmarried female police officers in the NPF who, because of this discriminatory practice, cannot have or be allowed to have children because of fear of dismissal from the Police Force.
“Married female police officers are allowed to be pregnant and have children while still serving in the Police Force; they also enjoy maternity benefits.”