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Perm Secs drag Wike to court over retirement

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Eight Permanent Secretaries in Rivers State have dragged the state government to the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, protesting their compulsory retirement from the state civil service.

Hearing on the suit commenced on Monday at the Yenagoa Division of the NIC.

The permanent secretaries are Mr. Sam Woka, Ms. Kadilo Brown, Mr. Augustine Orlu-Orlu, Mr. Muka Nwikosi, Mr Minabelema Michael-West, Mrs. Ngozi Abu, Mr. Kingsley Hart and Mrs Justina Jumbo.

The Attorney-General of the state, the Head of Service of the state, the Rivers State Civil Service Commission, and the Accountant General of Rivers, were also joined in the suit.

The lawyer to the plaintiffs, Mr. Tuduru Ede, told the court that the purported compulsory retirement of the permanent secretaries was in contravention of the civil service rules and therefore unlawful.

He urged the court to declare the exercise null and void since it did not follow the procedures and due process in public service.

Ede further asked the court to restrain the government in Rivers from further threat and harassment of the permanent secretaries with eviction from their official residential accommodation and seizure of their official vehicles.

“My clients have been severally threatened by Rivers government officials, they are afraid and therefore seek the protection of the court,” he said.

Ruling on the application for interlocutory injunction to restrain the government from harassing the permanent secretaries, Justice James Agbadu-Fishim noted that the lawyer to the defendants was absent.

He said the lawyer sent a representative to the court for time to appear.

The Judge adjourned the case to Jan. 21 to hear the motion for interlocutory injunction.

SOURCE: THE NATION

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