The Court of Appeal, Calabar has fixed April 7, 2022 to sit on the case of the sacked 5,000 teachers by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
In a chat with newsmen, the new counsel representing the 5,000 teachers noted that the Court will hear arguments of both sides on the same date. The case referenced N0: CA/C/362/2018 was mentioned on 12/01/2022 before the three-man panel of Judges with a new Counsel announcing his presence on behalf of the sacked teachers.
The State government being the Appellants in the Appeal Court went on Appeal to challenge the ruling of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Uyo Division delivered on the 18th day of May, 2017 in Suit No. NICN/UY/03/2017 in which the Court ruled that the action of the 5000 sacked teachers was correctly commenced by way of Representative Action; thereby giving them the locus standi to proceed on their case.
Emmanuel Isangidoho Esq., whose appearance as the new counsel for the embattled sacked teachers was accepted by the Appeal Court, noted that his clients are happy that the case which has dragged for long has finally been fixed for hearing/argument by the Court of Appeal making the case to have a life again.
About 5,000 applicants were given an offer of appointment letter into Pensionable Establishment dated 2 February, 2015 in line with Chapter 2 of the Akwa Ibom State Public Service Rule (2010 edition).
They were employed as Master/Mistress Grade II, on Salary Grade Level 08, Step 2 with a commencing salary of N369,324.48 per annum. Their Letters of Appointment were eventually issued to them on 15 April, 2015 with effect from 1 April, 2015.
However, on 30 October 2016, the then Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan, announced the sack of the teachers saying that she was directed by the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
The coordinator of the embattled teachers, Mr. Ukeme Anwan, explained that over 22,000 persons applied for the job at the twilight of former Governor Godswill Akpabio but 5,000 were recruited after rigorous screening exercises, including examination and fulfillment of other requirements.
Mr. Anwan argued that allegation by the Government of Governor Udom Emmanuel claiming that teachers were employed through the backdoor is unacceptable, saying “we want the government of Akwa Ibom State to post us to the places of our duty and pay all our emolument because we were duly recruited and all the documentation and recruitment exercises were done on us.”