SSANIP’s lawsuit: Industrial court summons Buhari, others over alleged unlawful appointments in polytechnics

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) Abuja Judicial Division has summoned President Muhammad Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Registrar, Federal Polytechnic Ayede, Oyo State, Akin Adesola; Bursar, Federal Polytechnic Ayede, Oyo State, Rasheedat Oladepo; Bursar, Federal Polytechnic Ohodo, Enugu State, Mrs Grace Eze, to appear before the court following a lawsuit filed against them by the leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP).

Others expected to appear before the honourable court are Mrs Regina Eze, Bursar, Federal Polytechnic Ohodo, Enugu State, Mr Arikpo Otu Eno, Registrar, Federal Polytechnic Ugep, Cross River State, Emmanuel Monday Uduehe, Bursar, Federal Polytechnic Ugep, Cross River State, Dr Celina Shitnan Gana, Registrar, Federal Polytechnic Shendam, Plateau State, Dr Naziru Suleman, Bursar, Federal Polytechnic Shendam, Plateau State, Adamu Alhaji Usman, Registrar, Federal Polytechnic Monguno, Borno State, Ali Buhari Wasaram, Bursar, Federal Polytechnic Monguno, Borno State, Dr Muhammed Nodal Ndaeji, Registrar, Federal Polytechnic Wannune, Benue State and Nansok Shehu, Bursar, Federal Polytechnic Wannune, Benue State.

Over what it considered as a violation of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act 2019 in the appointment of the above-mentioned Registrars and Bursars, SSANIP had approached the court to seek its interpretation and a reversal of the appointments of the aforementioned persons by President Muhammadu Buhari, which it considered a trample on the stipulations of the Polytechnic Act.

SSANIP in the suit stated that provisions of section 10(1)of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act 2019, stipulate that appointment of a Registrar and Bursar of any Federal Polytechnic shall be made by the Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic. It, therefore, asked the court to declare as illegal, null and void any appointment made by President Buhari or Attorney General of the Federation into any Federal Polytechnics with the approval of the schools’ governing council.

Accordingly, the summon stated: “Let the defendants within 14 days after service of this summon on them, inclusive of the days of such service cause an appearance to be entered for them to this summons which is issued upon the application of the claimant who claimed to be entitled to the determination of the following questions and the relief hereafter appearing.

“Whether in view of the provisions of section 10 (1) of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act 2019, the appointment of Registrar and Bursar into any Federal Polytechnic, including but not limited to the 3rd-14th defendants, ought to be made by the Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic.

“Whether in view of the provisions of Section 10 (1) of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act 2019, the appointment of 3rd-14th defendants by the 1st defendants as Registrars and Bursars of Federal Polytechnics, renders the various appointments null and void.”

Furthermore, the summon said that the claimant is “Seeking the following reliefs against the Defendants jointly and severally: A declaration that the appointment of a Registrar and Bursar of any Federal Polytechnic, Including but not limited to the 3rd-14th defendants is ought to be made in accordance with the provisions of section 10(1)of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act 2019, which stipulate that appointment of a Registrar and Bursar of any Federal Polytechnic shall be made by the Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic.

“A declaration that the appointment of a Registrar and Bursar of any Federal Polytechnic, including but not limited to the 3rd-14th defendants by the 1st and 2nd defendants rather than Governing Council of the respective Federal Polyhedmlc is indeed illegal, null and void.”

“An order setting aside the 1st defendant purported appointment of any person including but not limited to the 3rd-14th defendants, as Registrars and Bursars of any Federal Polytechnic for failing to adhere to Section 10(1) of the Federal Polytechnic (Amendment) Act 2019, which stipulate that appointment of a Registrar and Bursar of any Federal Polytechnic shall be made by the Governing Council of the  Federal Polytechnic.

“An order of injunction restraining the 1st defendant either acting by themselves or through their agents or representatives from swearing the 3rd-14th defendants as the Registrars and Bursars of Federal Polyhedmis in Nigeria or doing anything whatsoever geared towards maintaining and/or recognizing them as such.”

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