Non-Payment of Entitlements: Court Fixes Jan 28 for Judgment in Justice Michael Goji’s Suit

The National Industrial Court on Wednesday fixed January 28, 2021 to deliver judgment in a case of alleged non-payment of entitlements instituted by a retired judge, Justice Michael Goji.

Defendants in the suit are the National Judicial Council (NJC), the Adamawa Judicial Service Commission, Adamawa Governor and the Attorney-General.

Others are Justice Ishaya Banu, Justice Musa Umar and Barrister Christopher Mapio.

The Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado fixed the date after counsel in the suit adopted and submitted various processes.

Joshua Waya, who appeared on behalf of all the defendants except NJC prayed the court to grant his application for extension of time to regularise his counter affidavit.

When the application was not objected to, by Evaritus Paul the claimant’s counsel, the judge granted the prayer and deemed it properly filed and served.

Waya in addition, proceeded to inform the court that he had Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the competence of the suit.

He said in support of the application was a Written Address which he relied on, adopted as his submission and urged the court to dismiss the suit for lacking in merit.

Paul on his part said he had opposed Waya’s submission by way of Reply on Point of Law which was filed on October 2 and was already before the court.

He further adopted it and urged the court to discountenance Waya’s submission and deem it as frivolous.

The claimant’s counsel in addition prayed the court to deem as properly filed and served his application for further and better affidavit, his Originating Summon backed by a 29 paragraph affidavit which he said was in compliance with the rule of NICN proceeding, accompanied with a Written Address, and urged the court to grant all the prayers as contained in the Summon.

Kemasuode Wodu, the NJC’s counsel also informed the court that he had a Preliminary Objection filed on September 17 before the court along with a Written Address which he proceeded to adopt as his argument for the Preliminary Objection.

Wodu prayed that the court adopt his Counter-affidavit, deem it properly filed,adopt the argument in the Written Address and urged the court to dismiss the suit.

The claimant, Goji who was a judge in the Adamawa State High Court was suspended in 2017 over allegations of insubordination.

He  however claimed his entitlements had not been paid when he attained the mandatory retirement age in April, hence he dragged the defendants to court.

The NJC in its argument submitted that the period the claimant did not work due to his refusal to report to Mubi Division where he was posted to will be deducted from his entitlements.

The other defendants in their argument said the claimant was not entitled to payment for the period he did not work as he claimed he needed a four-wheel vehicle to convey him from Mubi to Yola during the weekend to visit his family.

The defendants said the absence of a vehicle which the claimant said was the reason for not reporting to Mubi was for personal reason, not for performance of his duties and was therefore an act of insubordination.

The claimant submitted that his transfer to Mubi was to take effect from October 2017 after the annual vacation, however his suspension letter was back dated to July, 2017 when he was supposed to still be working from Yola.

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