The National Industrial Court, on Monday ordered the Adamawa House of Assembly Service Commission (ASHASC), to pay its a former commissioner, Ngyamanu Shadrack his entitlements of about N39 million.
Justice Sanusi Kado who delivered the judgment via virtual court sitting also ordered that failure of the defendants to comply with the judgment will attract 10 percent on the judgment sum.
Shadrack, the claimant who was appointed as Commissioner III to the Commission on April 9, 2019 by the governor was supposed to be a five year tenure.
He however, sought redress in court when his appointment was terminated and anchored his prayers on two sets of declarations and reliefs, which were the main and alternative reliefs.
Among the prayers was a declaration that his suspension and termination of his appointment was not validly done and therefore unlawful, illegal, null and void.
The defence on its part had argued that the claimant’s appointment was hastily and desperately made two months before the expiration of the tenure of the former Adamawa State governor without following due process.
The defence counsel, I. Mohammed and T.J Ojo had therefore formulated five issues for determinations as to whether or not the claimant was entitled to his claims amongst others.
The defence further refuted the claims of Shadrack and sought for counterclaim on ground that the appointment was not validly made.
In its argument the defence averred that the claimant’s appointment was not valid as it was in contradiction with the provision of Section 6 of the ASHASC Law 2002.
Defence in addition cited that the provision of Section 14 of the constitution of Nigeria as amended was equally abused in the appointment of the claimant, as due process of selection and screening of the claimant was not done before his appointment.
According to the defence, the claimant assumed duty before acceptance of offer and taking oath of office on May 15, 2019
The judge however in the judgment said the claimant’s appointment was validly done in compliance with the provision of Section 4 of the ASHASC Law, 2002.
Kado also said the failure of the defence to show how the appointment of the claimant was against the provision of the constitution as cited by defence made the termination illegal, null, void and of no effect.
He also said the defendants action of terminating the appointment of the claimant while there was a pending suit before the court amounted to abuse of court’s process.
In addition, Kado said the defendants argument that the claimant was not entitled to any payment because he did not perform any function of the office but having admitted to have have suspended and terminated the appointment cannot claim that he did not perform any job function.
The judge further denied the counter claim of the defence as he said that the defence counter claim could have only succeeded if it had discharged the onus of burden placed on it and ought to had proved its counter claim on the strength of its case and not on the witness of the claimant’s.
The claimant’s case also succeeded in parts as his claim for solicitor’s fees were denied as the court said that there was no evidence before to prove that such amount was accrued to enable the court to grant the relief.
Joined as co-defendant in the suit were the governor, Adamawa State, the Attorney-General of Adamawa and the Adamawa State House of Assembly Service Commission.
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