Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Abuja court orders police commission to pay ex-workers’ salaries

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja has ordered the Police Service Commission to pay all accumulated salaries and allowances of 43 disengaged employees from 2013 when they were employed.

In the judgment delivered by Justice E.D Isele last week, the court held that the 43 ex-employees had been duly employed according to statutes and were entitled to be paid.

Earlier in February 2015, the 43 plaintiffs had brought a suit through their counsel, Samuel Ogala. They claimed before the court that they were employed by the commission in 2013 but were not paid their salaries and allowances until the unlawful termination of their appointment.

It was reported that the plaintiffs were reinstated after a judgment declared their termination void in 2016. However, the plaintiffs went back to court after they were dismissed a month after the reinstatement.

The plaintiffs had also filed a notice of consequence of disobedience to order of the court against the defendants on June 21.

At the resumed proceedings, it was observed that the two respondents to the suit, Mike Okiro, the head of the commission and the PSC, did not participate in the proceedings.

During the proceedings, Ogala argued that the respondents could not terminate the employment of the employees without complying with the provisions of the law that regulated their employment.

Justice Isele agreed with Ogala, noting that the workers were entitled to their salaries and allowances.

He said the workers had the right to their wages whether they worked in the civil service or private sector.

He said, “There is no doubt that the claimants were employed by the defendants. Strangely, however, the defendants did not participate in the entire proceedings even for one day in the course of the proceedings. The proofs of service in the case file tended to show that the first defendant (PSC) and the second defendant (Okiro) were always served, but they never appeared whenever the case was called or being heard.

The Justice declared that the refusal of the defendants to pay the workers before terminating their appointment contradicted the provision of Section 10(3)(b) of the Police Service Commission Act, 2001, Rules 04102 and 130105 of the Public Service Rules, and the Police Service Conditions of Service paragraph 4.1 (c) and paragraph 4-2(e).

He said, “The first and second defendants are hereby mandatorily directed to pay the claimants forthwith their first 28 days allowances and salaries, equivalent rank in the Civil Service of the Federation commencing from the date of their employment to when the claimants’ employment is properly determined in accordance with the provisions of the law regulating the claimant’s employment with the defendants.”

Justice Isele ordered the defendants to comply with the judgment within 30 days.

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