Court to hear suit in termination of appointment of 110 ABU staff on May 21
The National Industrial Court, Abuja, has fixed May 21 for further hearing in a suit against Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, over the termination of the appointment of 110 staff.
Justice Peter Lifu (JP) gave the ruling on Wednesday.
The suit was instituted against ABU, the Federal Ministry of Education and the Attorney-General of the Federation in December 2012 over the termination of the claimants’ employment between 1996 to 1999.
The Counsel to the 1st respondent, Mr Ewere Aliemeke, in his preliminary objection, argued that the military regime, as the sole administrator of the school, had the authority to dismiss the staff and as such their suit was “statute-barred’’.
According to him, after the action was taken, the parties did not approach the court immediately even when they had the opportunity to do so.
He further said that said that their inaction did not show that they were aggrieved.
The counsel to the 3rd respondent, Oluwafemi Aweda said that his ground of objection was to the effect that the court lacked the jurisdiction to attend to the suit.
Aweda said that the claimants’ suit should not be entertained because his objection was based on the fact that the point of law enforced that time was the Public Officer Protection Service of 1982.
During his argument, the claimants’ counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, arguing of the preliminary objection, said that the suit was not statute-barred because they had shown evidence of three white papers.
According to him, the government had taken a decision that the suit must be attended to, but so far, the government’s decision was not implemented.
He said assuming the case was statute-barred, they would not have gotten a reply when they wrote to the government authority.
Falana said that they wrote to the attorney-general of the federation, asking for the implementation of government’s decision and the Minister of Justice replied that their complaint was receiving due attention.
He urged the court to discountenance and dismiss the preliminary objection of the 1st and 3rd defendants.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government had directed ABU to review the cases and reinstate those dismissed.
The case was adjourned to May 21 for further hearing.
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