His Lordship, Hon. Justice Z. M. Bashir of the National Industrial Court has declared the indefinite suspension of employees without pay as wrongful. The court held in a judgment delivered on Wednesday 27th June 2018 at the Lokoja Division of the court.
The judgement was delivered in a suit filed by Musa B. Ohine against Kogi State Government. while ordering the Government to pay Mr. Ohine the arrears of his salaries and allowances for the period of his indefinite suspension, the court held:
“I have painstakingly taken the queue behind the reference to the said part of the Guideline, the body responsible for the suspension must conduct the investigation within a period of three months. Even if investigation is not conducted, the suspension should not be beyond three months unless same is extended by the permission of the Civil Service Commission.
“There is also no evidence that a criminal case has been established against the Claimant in court which may have warranted the suspension to last for more than three months beyond the powers of the Defendants.
“Consequent upon the above authority, I find that the suspension of the Claimant by the Defendant which lasted over one year, is not in accordance with the Public Service Rules and Guideline on Appointment, Promotion and Discipline of the Federal Civil Service Commission and I therefore resolve issue one in favour of the Claimant.
“Therefore relief four is granted to the effect that this court makes an Order directing the defendants to pay all arrears of salaries and allowances due to the claimant before and during the period of the illegal and wrongful suspension of the Claimant.
The Claimant filed the suit seeking against the defendant among others; A declaration that the purported indefinite suspension of the claimant which has lasted over one year and continuing, without payment of salary is contrary to the terms and conditions regulating his appointment with the 1st defendant and consequently amounts to a wrongful determination of his appointment.
The Claimant also sought an order directing the defendants to re-call and re-instate the claimant into his post and position as Director Accounts with full payment of his salary and other entitlements, until his due time of voluntary retirement from service.
Likewise An order directing the defendants to pay all arrears of salaries and allowances due to the claimant before and during the period of the illegal and wrongful suspension, i.e. from 21st October, 2016 till the carrying out the order of the Court.