A national industrial court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, has ordered the reinstatement of eight permanent secretaries sacked by Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, in 2015.
Wike had forcefully retired the permanent secretaries, the state’s head of service, the accountant-general and some other officials in 2015.
The permanent secretaries are Samuel Woka, Kadilo Brown, Augustine Orlu-Orlu, Muka Nwikosi, Minabelema Michael-West, Ngozi Abu, Kingsley Hart and Justina Jumbo.
The affected persons instituted a suit to challenge their disengagement from service.
Delivering judgment on Friday, Basha Alkali, the judge, held that the retirement of the civil servants was unlawful.
He described their removal as unconstitutional, null and void since it did not follow public service laid down procedure.
“The sack was in contravention of the civil service rules and therefore unlawful,” the judge said.
The judge ordered that all salaries and allowances accruable to the permanent secretaries since 2015 be paid to them.
Odum Eyiba, who represented the claimants (permanent secretaries), described the judgment as “well considered”.
“The judgment is a product of industry, researched and well considered. We instituted this action back in 2015,” he said.
Henry Amadi, counsel to Rivers state government, said he would study the judgment to take further action.
“That is the judgment of the court and we have to go through it and know the way forward. The way forward is not what I will disclose here, thank you,” he said.