Wednesday, December 1, 2021

High Court judges drag Plateau govt to court over 5 year withheld benefits

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Muhammad Salisu
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Seven judges of the Plateau State High Court have sued the state government to the Nigerian Industrial Court, demanding payment of their five year withheld entitlements.

Others joined in the suit filed by Justice Muhammad Sirajo and six others included Governor Simon Lalong and the Anthony-General of the state.

The plaintiffs claimed that other sets of judges were paid their benefits, lamenting that there was no basis for denying them their entitlements.

At the commencement of the hearing on Wednesday, at the Jos division of the court, counsel to the defendants, FB Lotben, a director in the Ministry of Justice, asked the court for adjustment of the hearing to enable the government pays the judges their entitlement.

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The application was, however, countered by the counsel to the plaintiffs, Oladele Oyelami, who claimed that the defendants didn’t mean what they were saying.

Mrs Lotben, who claimed that the defendants had started paying the money, begged the court to give her clients a month to complete the payment.

The presiding judge, Justice Kenneth Ikechukwu-Amadi, in his response to both counsels, frowned at the situation, saying that it was shameful for such a case to be brought to the court.

According to him, judges were not supposed to leave their courts to attend to court cases like every other human being.

Justice Ikechukwu-Amadi, therefore, transferred the case to the Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, for settlement.

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According to him, if the case was not settled, the hearing of the case would continue on December 8, 2020.

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