Maina’s sack: Court to decide on propriety of suit on June 12

Former head of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Abdulrasheed Maina was sacked by the Head of Service.

The President of the National Industrial Court, Babatunde Adejumo, has fixed June 12 for ruling on whether Abdulrasheed Maina’s case was properly instituted or not.

On the last adjourned date, the court ordered all the counsel to address the court on whether a case could commence through originating summons.

Mr. Adejumo told the counsels on both sides that the matter in the court had generated public interest and he would want to apply caution in determining the suit.

When the matter came up for adoption on Friday, Mr. Maina’s counsel, Mahmud Magaji, argued that the originating summon was the appropriate mode to commence the case.

Mr. Magaji urged the court to hold that originating summon was the appropriate way to commence the suit because it bothers on the interpretation of statutes that govern the claimant’s employment.

While reacting to the claimants submission, the first defendant’s counsel, Polycap Hamman, argued that originating summon was not the appropriate mode of commencing a case of dismissal.

Mr. Hamman argued that the issues raised in the matter were so contentious that originating summon could not be the appropriate way to address them.

He also contended that Order 3 Rule 5(A) of the court 2012 as amended made it expressly clear on the mode by which a case of dismissal could commence.

“Where issues in the matter are so riotous and contentious, originating summon can never be the appropriate mode of commencing such an action.

“It is our submission that the instant case, which solely bothers on the dismissal of the claimant from service, cannot be determined properly and judiciously using originating summons.”

Similarly, the counsel to the second defendant, Ebuk Ekpo, told the court that he was aligning with the submissions of the first defendant and all the cases cited.

Ms. Ekpo argued that the case was not about interpretation of the constitution but about due processes followed in dismissing the claimant. She, however, urged the court to strike out the case and order the claimant to file the matter through writ of summon.

Also, the counsel to the third defendant, Ahmed Abubakar, who did not file any written address, told the court that he was also aligning himself with the submissions of the first defendant.

However, counsel to the seventh defendant, Peter Eze, contended that where a wrong procedure was adopted in filing a suit, striking it out was not the proper way out.

Mr. Eze said that it was wrong for a case of dismissal to come by way of originating summon as the defendants might not have the opportunity to defend themselves.

“I urge this honourable court to order the claimant to file his case through writ of summon,’’ he added.

The fourth, fifth and the sixth defendants were neither in court nor represented by counsel.

Mr. Maina had sued the Head of Service of the Federation and six others for alleged unlawful dismissal as a deputy director in the civil service.

Mr. Maina, who instituted the action through his counsel via originating summon, is praying the court to quash the purported dismissal from service. He is also praying the court to order the defendants to reinstate him as Chairman, Customs, Immigration and Prison Pension Office (CIPPO and Deputy Director (Admin), Federal Civil Service.

The claimant is also seeking an order of the court to direct the defendants to pay him N2.5 billion in damages.

Mr. Maina was the Chairman, CIPPO and Pension Reform Task Team before his dismissal.

The president of the court adjourned the case to June 12 for ruling on whether the case can be determined through originating summon.


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