Court Quashes Dismissal of Civil Servant by Donald Duke

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A High Court of Cross River State, Ugep Judicial Division presided over by Honourable Justice Micheal Edem yesterday (23/10/2012) in Suit No. HUG/15/2011 declared the retirement of Mr. Ekpe Bassey Ifere from the Public Service of Cross River State by former Governor Donald Duke on 4th January, 2004 as illegal, wrongful and unconstitutional.

The Court also set aside the decision of Mr. Duke to retire Mr. Ifere without affording him a fair hearing in accordance with his right to fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Enforcement & Ratification) Act, Cap. T9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 6, Paragraph 03601 (i) & (ii) of the Cross River State Public Service Rules, 2004.

Honorable Justice Edem agreed with the submission of Counsel to the Claimant, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla that it amounts to a contravention of Section 6, Paragraph 03601 (i) & (ii) of the Cross River State Public Service Rules, 2004 which is entrenches the right of fair hearing contemplated by the 1999 Constitution for Mr. Duke to purport to retire Mr. Ifere who was a Director in the Board of Internal Revenue without affording him a hearing.

Justice Micheal Edem berated the former Governor, Donald Duke for retiring Mr. Ifere in total disregard of the due process doctrine. Mr. Ifere had instituted the case in June, 2011 seeking the following reliefs:

1. A Declaration that the purported decision of the then Governor of Cross River State of Nigeria, Mr. Donald Duke, to retire the Claimant/Applicant from the Cross River State Public Service through a letter dated 5th January, 2004, without the Claimant/Applicant being heard constitutes an infraction of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, and Article 7 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification & Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

2. A Declaration that the purported retirement of the Claimant/Applicant from the Cross River State Public Service through a letter dated 5th January, 2004, by Mr. Donald Duke, the then Governor of Cross River State of Nigeria in blatant disregard of Section 6, Paragraph 03601 (i) & (ii) of the Cross River State Public Service Rules, 2004, which contemplates respect for the right of fair hearing of the Claimant/Applicant as cognizable by Section 36 Subsections (1) & (2) (a) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Supra, and Article 7 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification & Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, is unconstitutional, illegal, wrongful, null and void and to no effect whatsoever.

3. An Order setting aside that decision of Mr. Donald Duke, the then Governor of Cross River State of Nigeria, concerning the retirement of the Claimant/Applicant from the Cross River State Public Service as contained in the letter dated 5th January, 2004, on the ground that the decision constitutes an infraction of the right to fair hearing of the Claimant/Applicant as secured, entrenched and guaranteed by Section 36 Subsections (1) & (2) (a) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Supra, and Article 7 (b) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification & Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, Supra.

4. A Declaration that the Claimant/Applicant is entitled to work in the Public Service of the Cross River State of Nigeria and the Respondent is obligated by virtue of the provisions of Article 17 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification & Enforcement) Act, (supra) to provide and allow the Claimant/Applicant to work until he attains the age of 60 Years or the Applicant elects to voluntary retire from the said Public Service of the Cross River State of Nigeria.

5. A Declaration that the Claimant/Applicant is still a Member or Staff or Servant or Official of the Cross River State Public Service until the Applicant attains the retirement age of 60 Years or attains the age of 35 Years in service, whichever one comes earlier, in as much as the decision to retire the Claimant/Applicant from the Cross River State Public Service was done without compliance with the due process especially in respect of the fundamental right of the Applicant to fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36 Subsection (1) & (2) (a) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Supra, and Article 7 (b) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification & Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, Supra.

6. A Declaration that the premature retirement of the Claimant/Applicant from the Public Service of the Cross River State of Nigeria while the Claimant/Applicant still had many years to work until he attained the age prescribed by Law for his retirement from the Public Service constitutes a violation of Article 15 of the African Charter on Human & Peoples Right (Ratification & Enforcement) Act, 2004, and is therefore wrongful, illegal and null and void.

7. An Order directing the Respondent to cause the CRS Public Service Commission to restore the Claimant/Applicant to his employment forthwith and pay the Claimant/Applicant all his Salaries, Entitlements, Emoluments or fringe benefits from the date of his purported retirement (5th January, 2004) to the date of delivery of Judgment in this case.

8. General and or Exemplary Damages of N20 Million (Twenty Million Naira) for the gross abuse of the Claimant/Applicants fundamental right to fair hearing as cognizable by Section 36 Subsections (1) & 2 (a) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Supra, and Article 7 (b) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification & Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, Supra.

9. Any further Order(s) as the Court may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of this case.

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2 commentsOn Court Quashes Dismissal of Civil Servant by Donald Duke

  • What oil companies? What oil morajs? Is it that in a country of 140million people there are so few intelligent people? or that there are so few who bother to look up the facts and analyse the situation intelligently?Lets take a look one by one at the ‘oil morajs’ whose operations lead to gas flaring shall we:-1 – SPDC (Operator of the NNPC/Shell/Elf/Agip joint venture generally referred to as Shell)SPDC is 70% own by NNPC (the investment vehicle of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Oil Industry) i.e. SPDC is 70% own by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 20-25% owned by Royal Dutch Shell.2 – MPN (Operator of the NNPC/ExxonMobil joint venture, generally referred to as Mobil)Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited is 70% owned by NNPC i.e. 70% owned by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and 30% owned by ExxonMobil.3 – Chevron Nigeria Ltd (Operator of the Chevron/NNPC joint venture generally referred to as Chevron)Chevron Nigeria Ltd is 70% owned by the federal republic of Nigeria and 30% owned by ChevronTexaco international.4 – SNEPCO (Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company)100% owned by Royal Dutch Shell, Operates Deep offshore fields like EA and Bonga which is hundreds of miles of the coast of Nigeria in deep offshore Atlantic waters.Anyway, I’m sure by now you get the point i’m trying to make. The deep offshore gas is hardly flared and where they are flared they are less harmful because they are so far away from anywhere and the technology used in deep offshore drilling allows for easy solutions to flaring.The problem we have is with onshore, creeks and shallow water flaring, these are kinds of flares that produce the lights you see in the Delta and harm people, these flares are almost entirely the responsibility of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because Nigeria is the majority stake holder in the businesses that flare these gases.Enough with the left wing drivel, look at the facts, the oil companies are not to blame, the federal govt will play dumb always and play the innocent victim of Multinationals pressure. The solution to gas flaring is simple, here are the possibilities:1 – FG can give give directive to end all oil operations that flare gas in the Delta, i.e. they can ask themselves (NNPC) to stop operation, but they wont do this cos they will be losing money.2 – FG can come up with 70% of the cash needed to convert to new technology and bury rather than flare the gas, but of course they wont cos it will cost them too much, why should they use money they can embezzle to save lives in the Delta, rubbish.3 – FG can finally f*%$%*g realise that government has no business in business, deregulate the downstream oil industry, phase out the subsidy, allow the market to do the trick. What trick I hear you ask? Well the trick is: if all of the above is done, someone will take a punt on the flared gas, someone will invest in gathering that flared gas and sell it to power generating stations, industries, etc, someone will smell a profit and monetise that flared gas and we all will live happily ever after.I love Nigeria but I’m afraid the oil morajs are not blame for this one, the oil morajs after all are running businesses not a charity!A.J.

  • That’s more than siensble! That’s a great post!

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