Eight Permanent Secretaries in Rivers State have dragged the state government to the National Industrial Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, over their compulsory retirement from the Rivers’ civil service.
The suit commenced on Monday at the Yenagoa Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretaries are Sam Woka, Kadilo Brown, Augustine Orlu-Orlu, Muka Nwikosi, Minabelema Michael-West, Ngozi Abu, Kingsley Hart and Justina Jumbo.
Joined in the suit are the Attorney-General of the state, the Head of Service of the state, the Rivers State Civil Service Commission, and the Accountant General of Rivers.
Tuduru Ede, Counsel to the Permanent Secretaries, told the court that their purported compulsory retirement was in contravention of the civil service rules and therefore unlawful.
He urged the court to declare the exercise null and void since it did not follow the set down procedures in the public service.
Mr. Ede further applied to the court to restrain the government in Rivers from further threat and harassment of the Permanent Secretaries with eviction from their official residential accommodation and seizure of their official vehicles.
“My clients have been threatened several times by the Rivers government officials, they are afraid and therefore seek the protection of the court,” Mr. Ede said.
Ruling on the application for interlocutory injunction to restrain the government from harassing the Permanent Secretaries, Justice James Agbadu-Fishim said defence counsel was absent in court but sent a representative to appeal for time to appear.
The Judge adjourned the case to January 21 to hear the motion for interlocutory injuction pending the determination of the matter.