Court orders Rivers to reinstate 217 sacked polytechnic workers
The National Industrial Court in Port Harcourt has ordered the Rivers State Government to reinstates sacked 217 workers of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic in Bori, Khana Council of the state.
Presiding Judge, Justice Polycarp Hamman, gave the order while ruling on the matter, saying the state government did not follow due process in sacking the affected staff members.
The Guardian recalls that Amannah Peace and three other employees of the institution, who represented their dismissed colleagues from the Polytechnic, formerly known as the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori, had sued the Rivers State Government for sacking them unlawfully.
The claimants, who said they were employed in April 2015 during former Governor Rotimi Amaechi administration, as academic and non-academic staff of the institution, said they concluded their biometrics and resumed work when they were informed that Governor Nyesom Wike cancelled their employment.
But Justice Hamman, who ordered the reinstatement of the 217 workers, also ordered the state government to pay their outstanding salaries.
Speaking outside the courtroom, counsel to the sacked employees, Courage Nsirimovu, said it was clear that the Rivers State Government erred in its decision and advised it against appealing the judgment.
“Every party has the right to appeal. Since the court has ruled that they should be reinstated, the status quo remains that they are employees of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic. Therefore, anyone that harasses them will have to face court for contempt proceedings.
“However, the government has a right to appeal, but in the spirit of socio-economic justice and in the spirit of building relationships, the government should ignore the verdict and do the needful,” he added.