COURT ORDERS OKIRO AND POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION TO PAY 43 WORKERS SALARIES SINCE 2013

The National Industrial Court has ordered the Police Service Commission and its Chairman, Mr. Mike Okiro, to pay the allowances and accumulated salaries of 43 employees of the commission since 2013 when they were employed.

In a judgment delivered by Justice E. D. Isele, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday, the court held that the 43 plaintiffs were duly employed according to statutes, and so must be paid.

The plaintiffs, 43 in number, had through their counsel, Mr. Samuel Ogala, of Falana & Falana Chambers, filed the suit on February 3, 2015, claiming that they were employed by the Police Service Commission in 2013.They claimed to have resumed their duties between April and June 2013.

They claimed to have been going to work since then but were not paid either salaries or their statutory 28 days allowance.

They claimed that at a point the PSC tactically withdrew their appointment letter under the guise of verification.

Okiro and the PSC, who were the two respondents in the suit, did not participate in the proceedings of the court,

But during the proceedings, the plaintiffs’ lawyer maintained that the defendants could not unilaterally terminate the employment of the plaintiffs without recourse to the provisions of the law regulating their employment.

The judge agreed with Ogala and held that the plaintiffs were entitled to be paid.

“The right of a worker to be paid his full wages is automatically incorporated into the contract of his employment whether the worker is in civil service, some other branch of public service or in the private sector, and even where a public servant is unable to perform his duties by reason of illness he is still entitled to be paid his wages,” Justice Isele ruled.

He said that there was no doubt that the plaintiffs were employed by the PSC.

He ruled, “There is no doubt that the claimants were employed by the defendants.

“Strangely, however, the defendants did not participate in the entire proceedings even for one day in the course of the proceedings. The proofs of service in the case file tended to show that the 1st defendant (PSC) and the 2nd defendant (Okiro) were always served but they never appeared whenever the case was called or being heard.

“It is hereby declared that the refusal of the 1st defendant to pay the claimants their  28 days allowance, salaries and allowances from the date of employment till date is illegal, null, void and constitute a violation of the provision of Section 10 (3) (b) of the Police Service Commission Act, 2001, Rules 040102 and 130105 of the Public Service Rules and the Police Service Conditions of Service paragraph 4.1 (C) and paragraph 4-2(e).

“The 1st and 2nd defendants are hereby mandatorily directed to pay the claimants forthwith their first 28 days allowances, salaries, allowances of equivalent rank in the Civil Service of the Federation commencing from the date of their employment to when the claimant’s employment is properly determined in accordance with the provisions of the law regulating the claimants’ employment with the defendants.”

The judge held that the judgment must be complied with within 30 days.

Copyright PUNCH.               

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