Court orders reinstatement of 170 Kogi workers
The claimants/workers had joined the state governor and attorney general as co-respondents in the suit.
The presiding Judge, 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, adding: “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 and awarded the sum of N500, 000 as cost of the suit to be paid by the Kogi state government 30 days from the day of the judgment, failure of which 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 employments were terminated.
Their Counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Aruwa, had earlier told the court that his clients’ employments were purportedly terminated in 2009 during the administration Governor Ibrahim Wada 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, Mr. Philip Abalaka, in his submission, said the claimants were ghost workers that did not do proper documentation during the screening exercise.
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