Forty-three workers of the Police Service Commission (PSC) on Monday stormed its headquarters in Abuja, to enforce the order of the National Industrial Court directing the agency to regularise their appointment.
The workers, who besieged the commission along with a court bailiff, demanded that the PSC complied with the judgment which ordered it to pay them their first 28 days remuneration and allowances from the date of their employment till date.
The claimants were engaged by the erstwhile chairman of the PSC, Parry Osayande, in April 2013, but the Mike Okiro-led board of the commission which took over did not pay their salaries on the grounds that their appointment allegedly did not conform with the civil service rules and regulations.
The aggrieved workers thereafter instituted a suit against the commission and Okiro at the NIC, Abuja and judgment was given in their favour following the failure of the PSC to file a memorandum of appearance within the stipulated time.
Justice E.D. Isele, in his ruling, dated October 18,2016, described as illegal the refusal of the commission to pay the workers their salaries and allowances, stating that it was a violation of the provision of Section 10(3)(b) of the Police Service Commission Act, 2001, Rules 040102 and 130105 of the Public Service Rules and the Police Service Conditions of Service paragraphs 4.1(c) and 4-2(e).
The court restrained the commission from further refusing to pay the claimants their salaries and allowances, harassing, suspending their employment without due compliance with the extant provision of the law regulating the claimants’ employment.
The judgment read in part, “The 1st and 2nd defendants (PSC and Okiro), are hereby mandatorily directed to pay the claimants forthwith their first 28 days allowances, salaries, allowances of equivalent rank in the Civil Service of Federation commencing from the date of their employment to when the claimants’ employment is properly determined in accordance with the provisions of the law regulating the claimants employment with the defendants.”
The Head, Legal Section of the PSC, Tijani Muhammed, who met with two representatives of the workers and their lawyer, Olufemi Adedeji, promised to convey the court order to the commission’s management.
He advised the workers to come back in two weeks for the decision of the board, noting that the commission was willing to obey the court order.
“I need to convey the order to the board which would meet and take a decision on it, so I would advise that you come back after 10 working days during which the decision of the management would be conveyed to you, but I assure you that something would be done about the situation,” Muhammed stated.