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Buhari’s Minister In N21.5m Debt Scandal, Dragged To Industrial Court

Peter Okunoren

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Two former aides to the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, on Tuesday, dragged the minister before an Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court (NIC) over twenty-one million, five hundred thousand Naira (N21,500,000.00) unpaid salaries and allowances.

They were former Personal Assistant to the minister, Razaq Olubodun and Special Assistant on Media, Victor Oluwadamilare.

The duo in their separate suits filed by their counsel, Adewale Lawal prayed the court to order the payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances which the Minister allegedly denied them while serving under him.

Olubodun, in his suit numbered NICN/Abj/132/2019 is seeking to recover from the Minister the sum of N9.8m allegedly paid alongside the Minister’s salaries and allowances for 24 months.

It was gathered that no fewer than seven aides of the minister have resigned due to issues bordering on nonpayment of salaries and allowances since he (Shittu) was appointed in 2015.

Recall that Olubodun resigned after failed attempts to reclaim his salaries from the Minister.

Oluwadamilare in his suit, NICN/Abj/133/2019 is claiming N11.7m being his outstanding salaries and allowances for 28 months.

He also resigned after failed attempts to reclaim his salaries from the Minister.

The duo are seeking the order of the court to declare that the non-payment of full salaries and allowances to them for those periods as wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional.

They urged the court to order the minister to pay them their unpaid salaries and allowances according to the Federal Government directive for payment of aides to the Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The claimants are asking for an order on the defendant to pay the sum of N50m to each of them and to also pay them their full taxed costs of the prosecution of the suits. They averred that by their letters of appointments as PA and SA respectively, they were informed that their monthly emolument would be in line with the existing practice for paying PA and SA to Hon. Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Though, the claimants noted that the above-stated fact was indicated in the ‘paragraph 3′ of their letters of appointments dated 23rd Nov. 2015, the defendant “tried to make the salaries and allowances of PA and SA to Hon. Minister to look like his own personal affairs. The defendant tried to indicate this by an Internal Memo, seven months after the claimants’ appointments”.

While Olubodun claimed to have received just N1m all through his period of service from the Minister, Oluwadamilare disclosed that he was paid thrice to the tune of N2.3m in his 28 months of service under the Minister, yet, the defendant was alleged to have collected all salaries and allowances belonging to them from the FGN and refused to forward or remit same to them.

The claimants recalled that based on the circular from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) dated 27th July, 1999, it indicated in paragraph 1a that the salaries of PAs and SAs to the Ministers are Grade Levels 12 and 16, steps 4 respectively.

The Minister was accused by the former aides of applying intimidation, harassment, draconian and Machiavellian approach and threatened to take them to the court where he would ensure that they are frustrated and would still not pay them the salaries in contention each time they demanded for their rights while serving under him.

The claimants disclosed that they have been subjected to immense sufferings, ridicule and untold hardship as a result of the denial of their rights by the Minister.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the case in which both the PA and SA presented 35 and 40 statements of facts respectively.

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BIG STORY

Best Alcohol Unveils New Premium Drink, Best Honey Cream

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A new flavour from the stables of Nigerbev Limited, makers of Best alcoholic beverage, has been unveiled in Nigeria to the delight of their teeming alcoholic beverage lovers.

Best alcohol premium beverage aims to satisfy the taste buds of our esteemed customers and consistent with our pledge to provide Best products and exciting choices at all times, we have recently introduced a new variant called Best Honey cream made from soothing and comforting honey flavor which can be served chilled or with ice.

The product is now available in trade channels (open markets, supermarkets, neighborhood stores, bars, and restaurants)

Best Honey cream is Thick… Rich… Creamy…

Available in 750ml and 200ml #simplythebest

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BREAKING: Egypt’s Ousted President, Mohammed Morsi Dies In Court

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Mohammed Morsi, the ousted president of Egypt, has collapsed during a court session and died, according to state TV.

It is believed that the 67-year-old former leader was attending a session in his trial on espionage charges on Monday when he collapsed and then died.

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Supreme Court To Hear Adeleke, PDP Appeal On Osun Governorship Poll Today

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The Supreme Court has fixed Monday (today) to hear the appeal filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the September 2018 governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke.

The date of the hearing was contained in notices sent to parties to the suit, which also has the PDP as plaintiff, last week by the Registry of the Supreme Court.

Adeleke and the PDP are seeking the reversal of the May 9, 2019 majority judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which upheld the election of Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress as the Governor of Osun State.

The ruling of the Court of Appeal came after the March 22, 2019 judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which ruled by split decision to give victory to Adeleke and the PDP.

Justices Peter Obiorah and Adegboye Gbolagunte, in the majority decision, upheld the petition, voided Oyetola’s victory and declared Adeleke of the PDP winner of the poll.

Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, who chaired the tribunal, however, gave a minority judgment that dissented and struck out the petition on the grounds that the petitioners did not prove their case.

Oyetola, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission appealed the majority judgment at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, while Adeleke and the PDP appealed the minority decision.

On May 9, 2019, the Court of Appeal gave its decisions on the appeals, with four members of the five-man panel upholding the appeals by Oyetola, APC and INEC, and dismissing the cross-appeal by Adeleke and the PDP.

The Court of Appeal’s majority judgment set aside the majority judgment of the election tribunal, upheld the result as declared by INEC and affirmed Oyetola of the APC as the winner of the election.

Justices Jummai Sankey, Abubakar Yahaya, Isaiah Akeju and Bitrus Sanga gave the majority decision, while Justice George Mbaba gave the minority judgment, in which he dismissed the appeals and upheld the cross-appeal.

The appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court on Monday is that filed by Adeleke against the majority decisions of the Court of Appeal.

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