From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Barring any hindrance, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in Abuja will Tuesday hear a suit seeking to void the purported extension of the tenure of the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammed Babandede by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the suit, a lawyer, Daniel Makolo, is asking the court to declare, among others, that no known laws allow either the President, acting by himself or through any agency of government, to extend the period of service of a public officer with statutory tenure.

Makolo is also asking the court to declare that Babandede’s (the fourth defendant’s) tenure, as a public officer employed on September 13, 1985, as an Immigration Officer, has ended and his further stay in office “is arbitrary, unlawful, immoral and unconstitutional”.

The suit has as defendants, the Minister of Interior; the Director/Secretary of the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB); Babandede; the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS); the Head of Service of the Federation, Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC); the National Security Adviser (NSA); the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

The plaintiff, in a supporting affidavit, noted that while Babandede had, since becoming the NIS boss, applied the Public Service Rules (PSR) 100238 and 020810, which provide the mandatory retirement ages and tenure of service for public officers, is by himself unwilling to abide by the provisions.

Makolo averred that Babandede ought to observe the provisions of the PSR 100238 and 020810, like other civil servants employed at the same time with him in 1985, who have since vacated office in compliance with the rules.

He added that since Babandede’s tenure had lawfully expired on June 13, 2020, all his subsequent actions, including the disbursement of funds, are illegal and that he should be compelled to make refund.

“The refusal, failure and neglect of the fourth defendant to proceed on retirement fuels the speculation that his failure to proceed on his pre-retirement leave is in his bid to cover up his alleged corrupt practices and those of his benefactors and protégé,” Makolo said.

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