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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Court recalls 460 sacked Abia workers, orders full payment of salaries

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The National Industrial Court, sitting in Owerri, Imo State has reinstated 460 out of over 4,000 non-indigene workers disengaged by Abia State Government in August, 2011.

Abia State Government had in a circular of August 25, 2011 titled, “Back-loading on transfer of non-indigenes in the Abia State service to their states of origin”, disengaged over 4,000 workers.

However, 460 of the workers represented by Njoku Fidelia Ada, Unogu Jude Ugochukwu, Ekwegh Catherine Obehie and Okolie Georgiana took the Abia State Government to the Industrial Court.

In support of the originating summons, in an affidavit of 28 paragraphs deposed to by Unogu Jude Ugochukwu (the 2nd Claimant) and six accompanying exhibits lettered A to F, seek 9 reliefs among which were for them to be reinstated and paid in full all their salaries and emoluments having been wrongfully disengaged.

After listening to the submissions of the claimants’ counsels, C. C. Okere; M.O. Uzoma and P. U. Ogbunka for the defendants, the presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Suleiman Galadima held that by disengaging the workers they way it did, Abia State Government infringed on their fundamental human rights.

Ruling on the matter further, Justice Galadima said, “It is encouraging to know that any reasonable Government will be able to look beyond parochial sentiments and encourage the unity of its people under her regardless of where they came from. The unity of this country is non-negotiable or optional after all.

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