Nigeria: Court rules against barring unmarried pregnant police officers
A Nigerian court has struck out a police regulation that bars unmarried female officers from getting pregnant.
A judge ruled that the regulation, which calls for the dismissal of any unmarried officer who gets pregnant, was “discriminatory, illegal, null and void”.
Last year a federal high court upheld the police force’s decision to sack an unmarried officer who fell pregnant in 2021.
Her case gained prominence in Nigeria forcing the Nigerian Bar Association to send her case to court.
Although some considered the decision to sack her discriminatory, the court at the time said it was justified.
But a new judge has now ruled that the decision was “discriminatory”.
“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 on Wednesday.
But the dismissed police officer won’t get the chance to be reinstated into the police service, as she had sought, as she was on probation at the time of her dismissal.
Many security service across Africa have regulations for a long time are considered discriminatory.
In 2018 Ghanaians that were hoping to secure jobs in the country’s immigration service had their hopes dashed after the service disqualified some of them who applied for the jobs.