CBN ORDERED TO PAY N2.8 BILLION TO REINSTATED EMPLOYEES BY COURT JUDGMENT

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In a significant legal development, the National Industrial Court in Abuja has issued a commanding order to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to disburse a substantial sum of N2.8 billion to 313 employees who have been reinstated at the Federal Urban Mass Transit Agency. The court’s decision comes as a result of the employees’ unjust and illegal termination from their positions.

Delivered by Justice E. N Agbakoba, the court’s judgment, which was part of a garnishee proceeding marked NICN/ABJ/228M/2022, effectively concludes a protracted legal battle that has spanned over 16 years in the industrial court.

This legal dispute originated from the termination of appointments at the Federal Urban Mass Transit Agency, a parastatal operating under the Federal Ministry of Transport. The terminated employees, whose appointments adhered to the Federal Civil Service Rules, mounted a challenge against their retirement, asserting its illegality and non-compliance with constitutional and service rule provisions.

Justice Agbakoba’s verdict, handed down on December 16, 2020, rendered the retirement premature, unlawful, and devoid of legal effect. The court mandated the restoration of the claimants to their previous positions and offices, further demanding the settlement of unpaid salaries and wages.

Despite this verdict, the entities listed as judgment debtors, including the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Head of Service of the Federation, the Minister of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, and the Federal Urban Mass Transit Agency, failed to comply with the court order. As a result, the judgment creditors initiated garnishee proceedings (marked NICN/ABJ/228M/2022), which culminated in a decisive judgment on June 14, 2023.

Justice Agbakoba’s ruling unequivocally directed the garnishee, which in this case is the CBN, to remit the specified judgment sum of N2.8 billion to the judgment creditors. She dismissed the attempts made by the judgment debtors to sidestep their legal obligations and underscored the fact that it is not within the purview of a garnishee to advocate for a judgment debtor’s defense.

In essence, the court’s order compels the CBN to honor its financial commitment to the reinstated employees, thereby resolving a long-standing legal battle sparked by their wrongful termination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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