EletiofeAdegboruwa accuses IGP of using new police dress code...

Adegboruwa accuses IGP of using new police dress code to enforce religion

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The activist-lawyer said the new dress code for women officers is unconstitutional.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa. [TheCable]

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has flayed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali over the new approved dress code for female police officers.

Adegboruwa is of the view that the IGP may have used the new dress code as a decoy to entrench religion in the force.

According to the statement, the new and improved dress code would pave way for policewomen to adorn their ears with stud earrings.

Aladejobi also added that female police officers would also be permitted to wear headscarves under their berets or peak caps while in uniform.

He said the dress code was unveiled during the IGP’s meeting with strategic police managers on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

“The police have a workforce from every local government in the country with different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

“This, therefore, brings the need to guarantee inclusion, gender mainstreaming, ethnic and religious diversity in the workplace for optimum output and professionalism.

“This has informed the improvement for effective global workforce diversity management.

“Other countries that have adopted the same dress code include Canada, the United States of America, Sweden, Turkey, Australia and the United Kingdom,” he said.

Now, Adegboruwa released a statement on Saturday, March 5, describing the change as illegal and called for its immediate reversal.

According to the SAN, the move is a prelude to allow officers to wear hijab which he said is a clear contravention of the Nigerian constitution.

Adegboruwa argued that religion should be left as a private matter as the Nigerian Constitution clearly states that government should maintain neutrality in religious matters.

The activist-lawyer said “On March 4, 2022, the Inspector-General of Police purported to unveil a new dress code for the Nigeria Police Force, especially female officers, who are to be allowed to wear coverings or hijab, etc.

“The religion of public officers, including members of the security agencies, should be a private matter to them. The Inspector-General of Police is not competent to use the platform of his office to enforce religion.

“Section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stipulates that the government and all its agencies should be neutral in religious matters.

“Section 42 of the same Constitution prohibits discrimination in all its ramifications. In this regard, there will be no end to confusion attending to the new dress code prescribed by the IGP.

“What will be the official uniform for policewomen who are in the Catholic Church?

“How should policemen and women who are in the Celestial Church dress up when the practice of their church is against wearing shoes at all?

“And how should traditionalists who are in the police force dress up, with charms and amulets round their uniforms?

“The Nigeria Police has existed as an institution since 1945 and it is strange that of all the issues confronting that agency, such as low morale, poor welfare, poor infrastructure, poor training, poor welfare, etc, religious adornment should be the priority of the Inspector-General of Police.

“The police should focus on combating crime, improve citizens’ engagement and help guarantee the safety of lives and property. The religious preferences of policemen and women should be their private matters.”

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