Six hundred and fifty nine retrenched batch D1 teachers have accused Adamawa State government of deceit and contempt of court over its refusal to pay them N770,325,000 awarded them by the industrial court after they were sacked by the state government six years ago.
Leader of batch D1 retrenched teachers, Fredric Mbashi told FOMBINATIMES that the affected staff and their families are living in penury and squalor as a result of the refusal of government to pay them their entitlements as agreed.
The affected teachers were employed by former governor Murtala Nyako to address the shortfall of teaching staff in the state but were sacked by governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri in 2014 when he led the state as acting governor.
Fintiri had sacked no fewer than 2,193 batch D1 teachers but 659 out of the number approached the industrial court to demand their 30 months unpaid emoluments.
Mbashi noted that after their court victory, Adamawa State government has made an effort to appeal the judgement but the industrial court said the government must deposit the amount awarded to the teachers into the court’s account before filing the appeal noting that if the the appeal court judgement favours the government, the court will refund the money to it otherwise, it will give the affected teachers their benefits.
He noted that faced with that prospect, the government called them for negotiations.
According to him, it was settled that the government will reabsorb the retrenched civil teachers into the civil service while it will commence the payment of N64 million to the account of the teachers’ lawyer till the judgement sum is exhausted.
“We agreed with the government that it will reabsorb us into the civil service. To that effect we were screened while the state govt promised to start settling the judgement sum on monthly basis by paying us N64 million monthly with effect from March 2020.
“It was also resolved that those that are qualified for teaching will be retained as teachers and those that did not qualify will be taken to other ministries for proper placement.
“But since then, nothing has happened nobody addressed us, nobody talked to us about the agreement.
“And the government never pay a dime out of the agreed amount of N64 million monthly which it ought to start from March,” he said.
He noted in view of the failure of the state government to fulfil its end of the bargain, the leadership of the sacked teachers have contacted the attorney general of the state, the commissioner of education and even the chairman screening committee but they trio told them that they were not paid as a result of the effect. COVID-19.
Mbashi noted that as a result of the nonpayment of the entitlements, many and in state of pain as they find it difficult to even feed their families and take charge of other critical and basic needs of the family having been without job for six years.
He called on the affected teachers not to take laws into their hands urging them to exercise more patient as the leadership work assiduously to ensure justice for all noting that what prevented them from approaching the court again is because of the COVID-19 induced recess, adding that as soon as the Industrial court is back they will approach it for the next line of action.
Speaking to our reporter on phone, the chairman of the screening committee who is also the DPS Adamawa State ministry of education, Mr. Sunday Stephen, said, he has carried out the screening and submitted the report to the appropriate authorities.
“You may want to be informed that we screened them, especially those that went to court, because it was not all of them that went to court.
“The court return verdict in their favor that they should be reinstated if they are fit or pay them their entitlements as per salary based on the contract entered by government.
“So we screened them and raised a report and we submitted same report to government and all of a sudden, the lockdown came because of COVID-19 issue and at that material time government activities cannot hold again.
“So now that things have begin to go down, it is wise for the people who are contending to write a reminder,” he said.