Faced by the prospects of Court’s wrath and seeming redress for contempt, Adamawa State government has finally capitulated and moved to reabsorbed some of the batch D1 teachers it sacked in 2014.
In a letter of invitation for screening and reabsorption extended to the 659 sacked batch D1 teachers sighted by our reporter, the state government called on those affected to avail themselves from March 9, 2020 to March 11, 2020 at the various screening centers across the state.
The memo which was signed by Atenka John, information officer to the commissioner of education and human capital development, Wulbina Jackson reads: ” His Excellency the Executive Governor of Adamawa State Rt Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri Has directed the Hon. Commissioner of Education and Human Capital Development Hon. (Mrs) Wilbina Jackson to immediately invite Batch D1 Teachers for screening and absorption.
” In the light of the above, the general public are hereby informed that the Six Hundred and Fifty Nine (659) Claimants under the Batch DI Recruitment exercise are hereby invited for screening and verification, they are to come along with the following documents,
” I. Original copy of letter of temporary appointments.
II. All relevant Credentials
III. Reporting letter from posted school
” The screening exercise will start on Monday 9th March, 2020 by 9:00am at the Conference Hall Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Yola.
“In view of the expediency of the assignment, the Committee will not entertain non appearance on scheduled Date for each Senatorial zone, such act will be interpreted as having forfeited the exercise.
” The scheduled Dates are as follows
Day 1 – Monday (9/3/2020) – Southern Senetorial zone.
“Day 2 – Tuesday (10/3/2020) – Northern Senatorial Zone
” Day 3 – Wednesday (11/3/2020) – Central Senatorial Zone.”
The action came 2-years after a national industrial Court ruled in favour of the batch D1 teachers who demanded the government to pay them 30 months unpaid salary.
When he served as acting governor of Adamawa in 2014, Fintiri has ordered the sack of 2,193 batch D1 teachers employed by the his predecessor Governor Murtala Nyako whom he impeached as governor of the state.
But out of the total number, only 659 approached the national industrial Court to seek redress and payment of their backlog of 30 months salary.
It may be recalled that during a chat with our reporter, the coordinator of the sacked batch D1 teachers, Fred Mbashi, had accused the government of lackadaisical attitude towards their been their plight as a result of which they decided to make their matter public.
Mbashi added that about 2,193 of them employed by former governor Murtala Nyako were sacked by Fintiri but only 659 filed a case before the national industrial Court.
He noted that the Court on June 18, 2018 delivered judgement asking the state government to pay them N736,318,400 being their 30 months unpaid salaries but government flatly refused to abide by the Court ruling.
“2,193 of us were disengaged but 659 filed the case. The judgement was favourable to us. We followed the case for three years before we obtained judgement at the national industrial Court.
“The Court ordered the state government to pay us our pay for the 30 months we worked within three months. 726,318,400,” he said.
Lamenting further, the leader of the unpaid workers accused Fintiri led administration of insincerity and deception.
He said during a meeting with the government held at the behest of the attorney general of the state, the state government has asked them to forfeit their salaries in lieu of fresh employment which they could not accept due to the clear lopsidedness of the arrangement against them.
” The judgment stated clearly that the defendants should pay the amount to the claimant account that is our lawyers account.
“But later they tried to appeal the case and the Court has to stop them and said if they will appeal they should deposit the money into the account of industrial Court so that they can proceed to the appeal Court.
” We met with the government officials and the attorney general and the NUT chairman. We sat and discussed a lot but unfortunately, it did not yield any result.
” Their intention is that we should forfeit the money given to us by the judgement and then go to the CSC, buy form, follow the queue before we can be employed as new staff,” he said.
He pleaded with the members of the group to exercise more patience as he said the Court and their counsels are trying their best to ensure that justice is delivered.
“The government should know that we are the masses. We have defendants. They should critically look into the matter. The Court has given the judgement, if they are not ready to they should just give us our monies since they are not ready to give us our jobs,” he said.
Responding to the issues raised, the Director General Media and Communications to governor Fintiri, Mr. Solomon Kumangar told our correspondent on phone that the Fintiri led administration has placed premium on the rule of law and respect for Court judgements.
He said the ruling was made even before the coming of the government assuring that the ministry of justice and the attorney general of the state are putting heads to ensure amicable resolution of the quagmire.
Kumangar added that Fintiri’s administration is the most friendly administration to the civil servants in the history of the state adding on no account will the government shortchange the civil servants.
The DG noted that because of its passion for the welfare of the civil servants, the administration was the first to implement minimum wage of N32,000 in the whole of the federation.
Industrial Court wields the big hammer
But irked by the consistent refusal of the state government to abide by its ruling, the National Industrial Court, on Friday 28, February 2020 issued a garnishee order on bank accounts of Adamawa state government, to pay the sacked teachers.
In a phone chat with our reporter Saturday morning, the coordinator of the sacked batch D1 teachers, Fred Mbashi told our reporter that they have sorted all grey areas with the government adding that the government has promised to pay them their outstanding salary of 30 months as stipulated in the Court ruling.
“The government has promised to reabsorbed us and also pay our backlog of salary.
” It promised to give us the backlog in tranches of N64 million on monthly basis which will run through 12 months while at the same time pay us our monthly salaries after being reabsorbed,” he said.