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Major-General drags army, Defence minister, CDS, COS to court over retirement

ONE of the Army Generals said to have been retired by the Army Council on June 9, 2016, Major-General Nwokoro Ijioma, has dragged the Nigerian Army, Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff to the National Industrial Court over his purported compulsory retirement from the Nigerian Army.

In an originating summons filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome on his behalf, Major-General Ijioma wants the court to declare his purported compulsory retirement from the services of the Nigerian Army, vide letter dated 9th June, 2016, entitled, “Compulsory retirement NA Officer Major General Ijioma Nwokoro Ijioma (N/8304)” pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 09.02c(4) of the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers of the Armed Forces (HTACOS)  2012 Revised, did not follow due process and is consequently illegal, invalid, wrongful, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.

He prayed the court for an order setting aside the letter of compulsory retirement issued by the army council, purportedly retiring him from the services with effect from June 9, 2016 and an order directing his immediate reinstatement to his rank and payment of all entitlements and perquisites of office due to him.

Other relief sought by the applicant included “an order restraining the respondents from giving or continuing to give effect to the letter dated 9th June, 2016, purported to have compulsorily retired the Claimant from the service of the Nigerian Army.”

He also sought an order compelling the respondents to pay him N1 billion as general, aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages for what he termed unlawful, wrongful, illegal, unconstitutional and oppressive compulsory retirement and the attendant humiliation, psychological trauma, mental agony and odium caused him and his family, by the actions of the respondents.

He said, in case he could no longer be employed in the service of the Nigerian Army, the court should compel the respondents to tender a public apology to him in three leading national daily newspapers.

He also prayed for an order compelling the respondents jointly and severally to pay him N5 billion as general, aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages.