ABU must pay sacked workers N2.5bn – Court

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Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, KadunaAhmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna

By Magdalene Ukuedojor

The National Industrial Court, Abuja, has struck out a motion of stay of execution, filed by the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, to stall the payment of N2.5bn to 110 workers, whose appointments were terminated.

Justice Rakiya Haastrup, in her ruling, maintained that the motion was “not competent, lacking in merit and therefore refused, and struck out.’’

Haastrup said the application had not shown any exceptional circumstances to justify that the institution had no resources to pay the amount ordered by the court on Nov. 30, 2015.

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The application had indicated that the defendants lacked the resources to settle the workers and would be financially crippled if allowed to pay the estranged workers the said sum.

It also urged the court to stay execution in the matter, as the defendants had a pending appeal of the judgment at the Court of Appeal.

Haastrup, in her ruling, held that there was no transmission of records of the appeal, and no evidence of compilation of records of the appeal to that effect.

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She insisted the defendant had not fulfilled all necessary documentation to merit the favour of a stay of execution; insisting that the university reinstate its workers and pay them all salaries and emoluments amounting to N2.5billion.

The 110 workers, whose appointments were terminated in 1996, had dragged the university to court, claiming they were illegally terminated.

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They joined the Minister of Education, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice as co-defendants in the suit.

The court, on Nov. 30, 2015, ruled in favour of the workers, ordering the university to reinstate them and pay their entitlements.

On Nov. 7, 2016, the court ruled that the institution pay a computed sum of N2.5bn to the aggrieved workers.

The university is yet to comply with the orders.

– NAN

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