THE National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, on Monday, November 6, ordered Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, to pay over N234 million to chairmen and members of statutory commissions he removed from office on assumption when their tenures were still subsisting.
On assumption of office in October 2014, Fayose had sacked members of the State Independent National Electoral Commission, SIEC, Civil Service Commission, CSC, House of Assembly Service Commission, HASC, and Local Government Service Commission, LGSC, appointed and sworn into office by Kayode Fayemi, his predecessor in office.
A copy of the judgment made available to journalists on Monday, November 6, in Ado Ekiti, Justice Oyeyibola Oyewumi described Fayose’s action illegal and “executive rascality” and ordered him to pay the plaintiffs a total sum of N234, 010, 982.24 for terminating their appointments on October 20, 2014.
The justice said: “It is trite that where an appointment of an employee is terminated outside the specified terms of agreement or specified period, such a termination will be seen wrongful or unlawful as the case may be.
“It is upon this basis that I find that dissolution of these Commissions and removal of their chairmen and members by the first defendant (Fayose), as an act of executive recklessness, executive rascality, a grave disregard to the governor’s oath of office which he sworn to uphold, defend and protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
But the judge refused to grant the claimants’ prayers for perpetual injunction restraining the governor or his agents from forcefully withdrawing the monetised vehicles from them.
Apparently angered by Fayose’s action, the sacked officials sued the governor describing his action illegal, unlawful and asked the court to reinstate them into their respective commissions.
The plaintiffs are: Cecilia Adelusi, Gbenga Agbona, O.K. Aina, Dele Oloje of SIEC; Ranti Adebisi, Reuben Akomolafe, Omotunde Adelabu, Kola Fakiyesi, Dupe Bakare and Olorunfemi Babalola of LGSC.
Others are: Aflabi Ogunlayi, Segun Bankole, Kemisola Olaleye, Yemi Alade and Sesan Fatoba of CSC; George Ojo, Esan Abejide, Foluso Ibirinde, Bayo Akinola and Kupolati Olaiyan of HASC.
The plaintiffs were represented by Femi Falana, SAN, who hinged their prayers on grounds that the tenure of their appointment is statutory.
– Nov 6, 2017 @ 18:03 GMT |