The National Industrial Court’s Justice Edith Agbakoba was not present on Monday, which prevented a hearing in a lawsuit seven disgruntled employees brought against the Federal Character Commission from proceeding.
The scheduled hearing on the subject was postponed when the court registrar told the parties involved that the judge was ill and the court would not convene.
The suit’s hearing date was set for June 7 after counsel was further instructed to set new dates for their various topics.
According to the evidence, the plaintiffs Uzuakpundu Anita, Adebiyi Babatunde, Unogwu Elizabeth, Rahman Faosiyat, Idoko Victor, Ahmed Halimat, and Awoyo Adeola claimed that the defendants had hired them with appointment letters dated March 30, 2020.
The disgruntled employees also stated that they signed up for the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System in June 2020 and that their first paycheck arrived in July 2020.
Additionally, they claimed that when government offices reopened in August 2020, they were still at home because of the Federal Government’s order for Grade Level 1–12 federal officials to “stay at home” because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
They continued by saying that they had not received their salaries for August 2020 and that when they asked why they hadn’t, no reasonable explanations had been provided.
The claimants assert that they were only made aware of their disengagement by a notice that was published in the Daily Trust newspaper on March 11, 2021.
They alleged that every attempt to have them restored had failed, leading them to file the lawsuit in an effort to receive some relief.
An order from the court stating that the claimants’ employment is legitimate and ongoing is one of the reliefs they are requesting.
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Additionally, the claimants are asking the court to issue an order directing payment of their total income.
The claimants are also asking the court to issue an order instructing the defendants to give them back their jobs.
In response to the claimant’s allegations, the defendants alleged that the termination of the claimants’ appointments was caused by the acting chairman of the commission at the time of their employment not obtaining the necessary waiver and consent from the Civil Service Commission.
The FCC, Dr. Mubeeba Dankaka, the Executive Chairman of the FCC, and the Head of Service, Civil Service of the Federation, the defendants, emphasized that the claimant’s employment did not adhere to due process.