Thursday, March 30, 2023

Woman ‘dismissed’ from Nigerian police academy for getting pregnant

Nigeria’s police law has discriminated against women for decades. A new version prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, but old patterns continue.

• November 5, 2020
Nigerian Policewomen used to illustrate the story. CREDIT: Twitter]
Nigerian Policewomen used to illustrate the story. CREDIT: Twitter]

A female cadet was dismissed from a Nigerian police academy because she got pregnant, reports Guardian.

A senior police official named Ibrahim Zanna is reported to have given this information during a recent matriculation ceremony at the police academy in Kano.

The unnamed woman was one of 26 cadets dismissed ‘for flouting the code of conduct and academic deficiency’.

“We want to make it clear on the wall that you cannot misbehave and go away with it,” Mr. Zanna said, noting the introduction of drug and pregnancy tests.

Nigeria’s police law has discriminated against women for decades. First made in 1968, the Police Act of 2004 allowed the police to dismiss women on conditions that were not applied to men. 

Section 127 said, “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.”

There was no similar part in this law for unmarried men in the police.

The law also required women in the police to first apply to a state commissioner of police if they wanted to get married. A woman applying in writing this way had to give the police commissioner the name, address and profession of her fiancé, and she might be permitted to have the marriage only if she had served in the police for at least three years.

The law did not make a similar requirement for men in the police force who wanted to get married.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Nigeria Police Force (Establishment) Act in September this year. This new law repeals the 2004 version and prohibits every discrimination on the basis of sex. 

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