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Industrial Court orders ABU to pay N2.6bn to 110 disengaged staff

The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the management of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU),  Zaria to pay N2.6 billion to 110 members of  staff whose appointments were illegally terminated in 1996.

The court has also ordered the the university to immediately reinstate all the 110 staff members.

Justice Peter Lifu, gave the order in his judgment delivered in a suit filed by the disengaged staff against the university.

“The disengaged staff of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria should be paid the sum of (N2,585,130,678.21) as their entitlements from the date of disengagement till June 2016,” he ruled.

Lifu held that the purported termination was illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

The judge therefore directed the university to immediately reinstate the claimants as bona fide staff of the institution.

He held that the university should comply with all the recommendations of the 2004 and 2010 Presidential Visitation panel of the university and ordered it to take the recommendations as binding on it.

The 110 claimants, in 2013, instituted the suit to challenge the alleged illegal termination of their appointments by the university authority.

The claimants, who are both academic and non-academic staff of the university, averred that they have variously served the institution for over 20 years without blemish before the unlawful termination.

The claimants joined the Minister of Education, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice as defendants in the suit.

Counsel to the claimants, Mr Femi Adedeji, expressed satisfaction with the court’s judgment.

“The judgment is very fair; they deserve their entitlements,” he said.

Mr Aliemeke Ewere, counsel to the university, however, refused to react to the court’s judgment.