- The National Industrial Court has ordered the reinstatement of 170 dismissed workers of Kogi state government
- The Kogi state governor and attorney-general were joined as co-respondents in the suit
- Justice Edith Agbakoba also ordered the sum of N500, 000 as cost of the suit to be paid by the Kogi government
The National Industrial Court, on Friday, December 7, in Abuja, ordered the reinstatement of 170 dismissed workers of Kogi state government.
The claimants had joined the state governor and attorney-general as co-respondents in the 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.
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 the sum of 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 were terminated.
The claimant’s counsel, Shuaibu Aruwa, had earlier told the court that his clients’ employment were purportedly terminated in 2009 during the administration of Governor Ibrahim Wada.
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 sum of 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.
In a previous report by Legit.ng, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state sacked Arome Adoji, the commissioner for culture and tourism and approved the appointment of 16 new political office holders.
Adoji was first appointed as commissioner for youth and sports and subsequently redeployed to Ministry of Culture and Tourism last year.
However, Adoji's sack is coming few days after his brother, Dr. Victor Adoji who is contesting for the Kogi East senatorial seat under the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) was presented the party’s flag ahead of the 2019 elections.
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