A National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Akure Division, Ondo state has ordered the Ekiti state governor, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, to pay a total sum of N234, 010, 982. 24 to members of four Commissions he illegally terminated their employment on October 20, 2014.
Justice Oyeyibola Oyewumi, gave the order while delivering judgement in separate suits filed by the sacked members of commissions against the Governor of Ekiti state and the Attorney-General, Ekiti State.
The aggrieved members of Commissions are: Mrs. C. B. Adelusi: Chief Gbenga Agbonna: Chief O. K. Aina, and Barrister Dele Oloje, who are of Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission. Chief Ranti Adebisi: Chief Reuben Akomolafe: Chief Jacob O. Adewunmi: Princess Omotunde Adelabu: Hon. Kola Fakiyesi: Mrs. Dupe Bakare, and Mr. Olorunfemi Babalola of Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission. Alhaji Sulaiman Afolabi O. Elder S. O. Bankole: Chief Kemi Olaleye: Elder Yemi Alade: and Chief Sesan Fatoba, of Ekiti State Civil Service Commission. Chief George Femi Ojo: Chief Esan Abejide: Hon. Foluso Ibirinde: Hon. Bayo Akinnola: and Hon. Kupolati Olaiyan, of Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission.
The affected members led by Femi Falana SAN, approached the court to reverse their unlawful sack, and reinstate them into the Commissions.
The claimants anchored their prayers on the ground that the tenure of their appointment is statutory.
The defendants, that is, the governor of Ekiti State contended that the claimants’ sacked is in order. Justice Oyewunmi, described the action of the governor as amounting to Executive recklessness.
His words: “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 the dissolution of these commissions and removal of their chairmen and members by the first defendant (Governor Fayose), is 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.
“The action of the first defendant in this case lives a sour taste in the mouth. A grotesque galore which cannot and should not be allowed to stand in the way of justice.
“It is noteworthy that it has become fashionable for Governors today, that as they take over the affairs of a state, the first cause of action is for them to dissolve Government Boards both Statutory and otherwise for them to fix into such position their political gladiators, thereby disregarding/discountenancing the constitutional procedure for doing so.
This, to say the least, is the most unpatriotic and should not go unsanctioned.
“It is therefore, declare that mere announcement of the dissolution of the offices of the claimants on the electronic media is a breach of Constitutional trust, it is therefore declared null, void and of no effect. I so find and hold”.
Justice Oyewumi therefore ordered Governor Fayose to pay a total sum of N234, 010, 982. 24 to members of four Commissions that he unjustly sacked on resumption of office.
The judge however refused the claimants’ prayers for perpetual injunction restraining the Governor or his agents from forcefully withdrawing the monitized vehicles from them.
05 November, 2017