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Sacked 5000 Teachers: Appeal Court fixes April 7 for hearing

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, has fixed April 7 as the date for hearing and arguments in a case between Akwa Ibom State Government and 5,000 sacked teachers.

The teachers alleged that they were wrongfully sacked by the government after being employed and issued appointment letters.

The Appeal Case N0: CA/C/362/2018 was mentioned yesterday before the three-man panel of judges with a new counsel announcing his presence to take charge of the case on behalf of the respondents, the sacked teachers.

The state government, being the appellants, went to the Appeal Court to challenge the ruling of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Uyo Division, delivered on July 5, 2017 in Suit No. NICN/Uy/03/2017, in which the court ruled that the action of the sacked teachers was correctly commenced by way of representative action; thereby giving them the locus standi to proceed on their case.

 

Emmanuel Isangidoho Esq., whose appearance as the new counsel for the teachers was accepted by the court, noted that his clients were happy that the case, which had dragged for long, had finally been fixed for hearing by the court .

The Nation recalls that about 5,000 out of the total number of applicants were given Offer of Appointment Letter into Pensionable Establishment, dated February 2, 2015, in line with Chapter 2 of the Akwa Ibom State Public Service Rule (2010 edition).

They were employed as Master/Mistress Grade II, on Salary Grade Level 08, Step 2 with a commencing salary of N369,324.48 per annum. Their letters of appointment were issued to them on April 15, 2015 with effect from April 1, 2015.

But on October 30, 2016, the then Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan, according to the directive of Governor Udom Emmanuel made to be announced on the radio service of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC), to invalidate the appointment of the teachers, an event that threw the government and the aggrieved teachers into a legal battle.