14th May, 2012
A High Court in Okene, the Nigerian central state of Kogi, on Monday ordered the immediate reinstatement of 346 civil servants who were sacked after a staff audit in 2009.
Justice Sunday Otu in his judgement declared that the workers were wrongly sacked, adding that the government did not follow due procedures in terminating their appointments.
He declared that the contract between the government and the affected workers still exists. Otu ordered the state government to pay the 346 workers all their entitlements and benefits from 2009 to date.
The workers sued the government in 2009 taken the state government alleging wrongful termination of their appointments and refusal to include their names on the state’s payroll.
They urged the court to declare their sack as null and void and of no effect, order their reinstatement and the payment of all their entitlements with effect from the day they were sacked.
counsel to the state government, Mr Jamil Isah, had argued during hearing of the case that the court had no right to impose employees on an employer.
In his submission however, the counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr John Uchechukwu, told the court that laid down procedures for termination of appointment in a contract service agreement were not followed by the government.
Justice Otu held that the plaintiffs’ contract of service was still binding on their employer, adding that before termination of appointment, a month notice in writing and payment of one month salary must be issued. “By virtue of their letters of appointment, confirmation and promotion, the claimants are bona fide and lawful civil servants of Kogi and they should be treated like others.“Their entitlements, salaries and allowances beginning from the date they were stopped till date should be paid.” The Judge said the order affected only the 346 workers whose letters of appointment were tendered in court.