By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Two former aides of Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu on Tuesday dragged the Minister before an Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court (NIC) over an alleged N21.5 million unpaid salaries and allowances.
According to the two suits filed separately on behalf of the duo, the former Personal Assistant to the Minister, Razaq Olubodun and former Special Assistant on Media, Mr Victor Oluwadamilare, by their counsel, Barrister Adewale Lawal Esq. they prayed the court to order the payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances which the Minister denied them while serving under him.
The former Personal Assistance to the Minister 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,
The former Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, Mr Oluwadamilare in his suit, NICN/Abj/133/2019 “is claiming N11.7m being his outstanding salaries and allowances for 28 months.
In the suits, Olubodun and Olueadamilare 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 and that the Minister should be ordered to pay them their unpaid salaries and allowances according to the Federal Government directive for payment of aides to the Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Also, the duo 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, adding 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”.
Olubodun in his suit claimed that he received just N1m all through his period of service from the Minister, Oluwadamilare claimed 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.
They 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.
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.