By; IBRAHIM ADAMU, Kaduna
Approximately 12 months after refusing to implement the Supreme Court judgment and orders mandating the Comptroller General of Nigerian Custom Service (NCS), to reinstate Comptroller Abdullahi Bello Gusau, who was unlawfully retired prematurely, the victim has cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari to compel Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) to comply with the judgment.
But the Customs Public Relations Officer, Mr. Attah, said the only promotable position in customs is comptroller, adding that the CG, DCG are based on appointment, and therefore cannot be invented because of Gusau.
An appointee of Buhari, Ali, the NCS boss, was mandated by judgment of Supreme Court of Nigeria to reinstate Comptroller Bello Gusau back into the Nigerian Customs Service on grounds that his retirement from the service violated all constitutional procedure and requirements.
Gusau told our reporter that, Supreme Court, in a copy of the judgment delivered on April 7, 2017, by Justice Ejembi Eko, and made available to journalists in Kaduna, affirmed Appeal Court’s judgment including the consequential orders, and mandated the CG to reinstate Gusau together with all the consequential orders of the supreme court of Nigeria as contained in the judgement.
The court also made declarations that the purported retirement of the plaintiff (Bello Gusau) by the second defendant (Customs) was unlawful, malicious, irregular and fragrant violation of the plaintiff’s right of employment until the mandatory retirement age.
Supreme court’s 5-man panel of justices, headed by CJN, Walter S.N Onnoghen, also made an order affirming Appeal Court’s judgement and the purported retirement of the plaintiff by 1st and 2nd defendant’s public notice as unlawful.
The court therefore, ordered the defendant to allow Compt. Gusau to resume work and also maintain his position as Comptroller of cuystoms and be paid all his benefits and emoluments and enjoy his lawful promotions.
The judgement and orders of the supreme court of Nigeria were duly served on the CG of Customs on the 10th,13th, and 21st days of April, 2017, respectively, and also acknowledged receipts, but same was not complied with.
Till the time of filing this report, Customs was yet to formalise the reinstatement and promotion of Comptroller Gusau by way of serving him with reinstatement letter and letter of promotion, and subsequent decoration of his new rank.
Similarly, the salary arrears, emoluments and other entitlements have also not been paid to Comptroller Gusau.
The Attorney General of Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in his magnanimity, had written many letters to the CG advising him to comply with the judgement but were equally disregarded.
For instance, AGF, in a letter dated April 25th 2017, with reference no. PE.1/S.221/P.66, advised the CG customs Col. Ali to comply with the orders of Supreme Court, but same were ignored.
According to letters of reminder written to the CG, and copied Finance Minister, AGF, Acting President and other relevant authorities to comply with the judgement, Comptroller Gusau spent more than 16 years on the rank of comptroller without promotion due to the illegal premature retirement and victimization he was subjected to.
The letter further stressed that going by the scheme of service for Customs Service, Gusau should have been promoted to the Rank of ACG by June 2009, and be paid his arrears of monthly salaries, benefits, emoluments and all his relevant entitlement.
A letter signed by G.T. Afolabi (Esq) of Olugbenga Afolabi & Associates, Counsel and solicitors to the victim, averred that their client was unlawfully retired premature on 21st December 2009, adding that the whole thing was done in bad faith.
“Our client was unlawfully retired prematurely on 21st December 2009, more than 7 years ago by the former CG of customs, Dikko Indes’ administration, who was arrested by EFCC over allegations of N42 billion fraud, and diversion of public funds of N40 billion from customs coffers, criminal conspiracy, theft, abuse of offices and living above his legitimate means. Dikko Inde refunded N1 billion, according to a national daily.