Court orders Kogi govt. to reinstate 170 workers

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello [Photo Credit: The News Nigeria]
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello [Photo Credit: The News Nigeria]

The National Industrial Court, on Friday in Abuja, ordered the reinstatement of 170 workers of Kogi state government.

The claimants had joined the state governor and Attorney-General as co-respondents in their suit.

Justice Edith Agbakoba held that provisions of the law guiding and regulating the termination of employment in the civil service were not complied with in the dismissal of the claimants.

Ms Agbakoba also said: “The employment of the claimants are statutory in nature and can only be terminated in accordance with the law which was not followed in this case.’’

The judge, therefore, ordered that the claimants be reinstated to their various positions.

She also awarded N500, 000 as cost of the suit to be paid by the Kogi government.

The judge said 30 days from the day of the judgment, failure to pay the fine would attract a 10 per cent interest rate annually.

The claimants from different ministries had instituted the suit in 2013 seeking a declaration that their employment with the government was valid and still subsisting.

They also sought an order of the court directing the government to pay their outstanding salaries, allowances and benefits from May 2009 when their employment was terminated.

The claimant’s counsel, Shuaibu Aruwa, had earlier told the court that his clients’ employment was purportedly terminated in 2009 during the administration Gov. Ibrahim Wada.

Mr Aruwa said his clients were wrongfully dismissed without due process after a screening exercise carried out by a private firm on behalf of the government.

He said besides his clients’ request for reinstatement, they were also seeking an order directing the defendants to pay the N100 million as damages and N10 million as cost of the suit.

The defence counsel, Philip Abalaka, in his submission, said the claimants were ghost workers that did not do proper documentation during the screening exercise.

(NAN)

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