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Court orders FG to reinstate NEMA spokesperson 4 years after compulsory retirement

By News Express on 23/11/2017

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  •A triumphant Yushau A. Shuaib and his lawyers . . . on Wednesday
•A triumphant Yushau A. Shuaib and his lawyers . . . on Wednesday

 

Justice David Isele of the National Industrial Court (NIC) has ordered the immediate reinstatement of former spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Yushau A. Shuaib into the public service after forceful retirement in 2013 over an opinion article he wrote on former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Shuaib had sued the Finance Minister, Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) and Federal Ministry of information over the purported retirement. James Ode Abah of Bamidele Aturu Legal Chambers handled the case for Shuaib.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Isele declared that the letter retiring Shuaib from service has no force of law and is therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever being in flagrant violation of the civil service rules.

The judge also declared: “The premature retirement of NEMA spokesperson by the Federal Government without conducting any investigation, without giving him an opportunity to defend himself and without complying with the condition precedent for retirement is contrary to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution and therefore illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and null and void.”

The court, therefore, ordered Shuaib's immediate to his duty post as the Chief Information Officer without any loss to seniority, salaries, position and other emoluments.

The judge orders the Federal Government to compute and pay within 30 days all salaries, allowances and other emoluments due to Shuaib from June 2013 to the judgment date and interest at the prevailing commercial bank’s rate on his total package.

The case centred on the illegal and unlawful retirement of Shuaib over an allegation of criticising Okonjo-Iweala, in an opinion article on lopsided appointment in the public service.

Early in his statement of defence, Shuaib had stated that Public Service Rule 030421 gave him the right to write an article. According to that section: “Nothing in this rule shall be deemed to prevent an officer from publishing in his own name, by writing, speech or broadcast matters relating to a subject of general interest which does not contain a critic of any officer.” He also cited Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution which states: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

Shuaib, an award-winning writer, was offered automatic employment by Delta State and Federal Government after winning State and Presidential Awards of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in 1993.

He had served at various organisations as Public Relations Officer and Press Secretary, including at the Delta State Government House, Asaba; the state's Ministry of Information, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), National Press Centre, and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

After his purported compulsory retirement, Shuaib activated PRNigeria, a press release platform for critical institutions in Nigeria serving the military, security, intelligence and response agencies, among others. (PRNigeria)

Source News Express

Posted 23/11/2017 05:02:27 AM

 

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