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181 sacked personnel floor NSCDC in Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja that recalled 181 sacked personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Delivering judgment on Monday, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mahammad struck out the appeal filed by the corps challenging the decision of the lower court.

The acting CJN, who led four other justices, held that the apex court lacked that jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He said that Section 248 (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended placed all legal disputes which emanated from the National Industrial Court (NIC) to terminate at the court of appeal.

Mahammad further said that the apex court was therefore not vested with the jurisdiction to entertain such appeals.

“In the circumstance, the appellant applicant has reached its limit and the appeal is therefore struck out. The matter has come to its finality’’, he said.

The lost appeal was filed by NSCDC against the judgment by the National Industrial Court (NIC), reinstating 182 of its personnel who were wrongly dismissed.

NIC had, in a judgment on March 19, 2015, ordered the NSCDC to reinstate the sacked staff with their full emoluments from the time they were illegally dismissed.

The trial court also ordered NSCDC to return the employment letters to the affected personnel and pay all arrears of their salaries amounting to about N1.2 billion.

The court restrained the NSCDC from further tampering with the employment of the affected personnel.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the NSCDC, and Immigration and Prisons Service Board (who were respondents at the NIC) appealed the judgment, but failed to diligently prosecute it.

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Moore Adumein, in a ruling, on July 18, 2016, upheld the respondents’ request and dismissed the appeal for lack of diligent prosecution.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Obono Musa and 180 others had sued the then Commandant-General, NSCDC, alleging unlawful termination of their employments.

They prayed the court to declare that the verbal and oral suspension of the claimants by the NSCDC was null, void and of no effect.

The claimants also sought an order directing the defendants to recall all the claimants to work and to also release the original copies of their letters of employment to them.

They also asked for an order of the court directing the defendants to immediately pay them all arrears of salaries from 2007 till date.

Speaking to newsmen after the court session, Mr Ibrahim Bawa, Counsel to the respondents expressed delight on the outcome of the case, adding that his clients had been exposed to hardship since 2007 when they were unlawfully sacked.

He therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to impress it on the Commandant-General of the corps to without delay effect the decision of the apex court.

Bawa also said that the president might contemplate investigating the untidy manner the establishment was managed.

NAN further reports that the 181 personnel of the corps were seen dancing and thanking God for their legal victory in the premises of the court.

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Arewa

What Buhari told lawmakers in Katsina

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday in Daura told Katsina State lawmakers that leadership entails earning the trust of the people who voted you into office and consistently staying the path of honesty and fairness at all times,

Receiving the leadership of the State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Tasiu Musa Maigari, Buhari said the essence of contesting elections was to serve the people, and political actors must always remain loyal, dedicated and focused on delivering on their promises.

“Having been chosen by your people to lead, you must ensure that you remain trustworthy. Ensure fairness at all times.

“Leadership at home, community or national level is a heavy responsibility. And it must be discharged with fairness, firmness and justice,’ the President said.

He urged the lawmakers to be selfless, visionary and committed to meeting the needs of the electorate while minding their constitutional responsibilities.

In his remark, the Speaker thanked the President for providing leadership at the national level, and setting a standard on integrity and forthrightness for others to emulate.

Maigari assured the President that the Katsina House of Assembly will continue to support his policies, and ensure a trickling down in the state to favour their various constituencies.

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Law

Court grants request to freeze ex-Zamfara governor, Yari’s accounts

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted a request by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related offences Commission (ICPC) to freeze bank accounts allegedly owned by the immediate past Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a ruling on Friday, in an ex-parte motion by the ICPC, ordered that the accounts in Polaris and Zenith banks with funds in United States dollars and Nigerian naira, be frozen pending when the affected person shows cause why the freezing order should be vacated.

Justice Taiwo ordered ICPC to publish the order within 14 days in a national daily and for the affected parties to show cause why the funds would not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

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Arewa

Kwara probe: Panel uncovers massive fraud

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has said that the government may institute legal action against some immediate-past public office holders over the illegal sales of government property in the state.

He spoke in Ilorin, when the Committee On Sales and Disposal of government Properties submitted its final report to him.

The governor Abdulrazaq said “I thank you for your time and the efforts put into the work.
“I went through the interim report and I am sure this final report would be an improvement on it.
“We would not discard the report because that would be a waste of your time and resources. We will definitely look at it. And we will find judicial solutions for the good of the state and Nigeria.

“In the interim report, that you recently submitted,we saw some abnormalities which we will not allow to stand”.

Governor Abdulrazaq said the committee might be called upon to make clarification as government looks through the report.

Earlier, Senator Suleiman Ajadi, Chairman of the committee, told the governor that several frauds and mismanagement of public funds and properties were discovered, especially in the handling of the Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises funds, Harmony Holdings, and others.

He urged the governor not to let the report end in the bin as it might mean the loss of at least N5bn allegedly mismanaged through the SMEs fund.

Ajadi said “The committee observed unconscionable and immoral use of public funds to buy luxury cars, which flies in the face of the poverty being faced by our people, especially because of the several months of unpaid salaries”.

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