An Okene High Court in Kogi State, yesterday, ordered the state government to reinstate the 346 workers that lost their jobs during the screening exercise in 2009.
The presiding judge, Justice Sunday Otu equally ordered the state government to pay all the entitlements and benefits that accrued to the workers from 2009 when they were wrongly relieved of their job till date.
The workers had dragged the state government to court in 2009 for omitting their names from vouchers during the staff audit which led to their eventual sack from the state civil service.
They therefore urged the court to declare their sack null and void and order their reinstatement as well as payment of all their entitlements.
Counsel to the state government, Barrister A. Jamil had argued that the plaintiffs were sacked after the screening exercise, insisting that the court had no right to impose employees on an employer.
But counsel to the plaintiffs, Barrister John Uchechukwu countered that their contract still existed, as there were procedure for termination of appointment, even as he argued that the laid down procedure was not adhered to.
Delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Sunday Otu held that the plaintiffs’ contract of service was binding on their employer, and said that before termination of appointment, a month notice in writing and payment of one month salary must be issued to them, which was not done.
“ By virtue of letter of appointment, confirmation and promotion, the claimants are bona fide and lawful civil servants of Kogi State and they should be treated like others. Their entitlements, salary and allowance commencing from the date they were stopped till date should be paid,” he declared.