Home News Permanent Secretary selection: Court adjourns hearing on aggrieved directors’ case

Permanent Secretary selection: Court adjourns hearing on aggrieved directors’ case

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National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja has fixed May 30, 2022 for hearing of motions brought before it by the counsel to aggrieved directors challenging the process of selection of new Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service.

Recall that about 17 directors were disqualified by the screening committee from taking the permanent secretary written examination which was held 21th February, 2022 on grounds that they were “ghost” workers.

Worried by the development, the aggrieved directors approached the National Industrial Court of Nigeria before Her Ladyship Hon. Justice O.A Obaseki-Osaghae in suit No.NICN/ABJ/47/2022 with motion ex-parte seeking to be allowed to participate in the permanent secretary selection process as well as carry out the other processes.

Most of the affected directors claimed that they have been working with the Federal Service for over 30 years and receiving their salaries regularly but alleged that they were denied opportunity to update their records on IPPIS platform in order to print the IPPIS information slip.

Lawyers to the aggrieved directors had went further to sue the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan for charges of contempt of Court, on the grounds that the Head of Service and the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System Consultant refused to comply with earlier court orders to open the IPPIS Portal for participating directors to update their records as well as participate in the ongoing processes for the selection of Permanent Secretaries.

When the matter came up on Thursday before Her Ladyship Hon. Justice O.A Obaseki-Osaghae in suit No.NICN/ABJ/47/2022, the Court adjourned till further date so that all the motions in the suit could be heard at once and decided accordingly.

Counsels to the defendants, the Head of Service of the Federation, Permanent Secretary Selection Committee and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice who was later joined in the suit and represented by the Ministry of Justice, filed multiple applications challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the matter.

Justice Obaseki-Osaghae, however, asked the parties to take a date for hearing of all the motions base on their merits.

The Counsel to the aggrieved directors, Bemdoo Hassan from Municipal Solicitors, told newsmen that they were in Court in respect of the directors who were aggrieved with the process of selection of the permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service that was just concluded.

He said: “We were in court today to move some of our motions but the defendants in this suit have filed several motions and most of them are not ripe for hearing because we were just served.

“So, the matter was adjourned till further date so that all the motions in the suit can be heard at once and decided accordingly,”.

Hassan added that the three defendants were represented by two lawyers, the Second and Third represented by the Ministry of Justice while the First Defendant was represented by a private lawyer.

“Both filed preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Court and counter Affidavit to our pending motions before the Court.

“We are just served and we are within time to respond, so we took a date for all the applications to be heard on merit before the Court.

He, however, insisted that the issue was a labour matter and the right place to go, saying he was optimistic that justice would be done to his clients in the matter.

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