Former political functionaries that served between year 2004 till 2007 in the 20 Local Government Councils of Ogun State have berated the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun over what they described as his flagrant disobedience to Orders of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) compelling him to effect payments of their severance gratuity and other allowances.
The former councils’ political functionaries also appealed to the Chief Judge of the federation to help them prevail on Abiodun towards ensuring that he respects the Orders of the court and release funds for the payments of their entitlements without further delay.
In a Save-Our-Soul message issued in Abeokuta, the state capital signed by their leaders from the 20 Local Government Councils, all the affected political functionaries pleaded with the Chief Judge of the Federation to take actions that would stop Governor Abiodun from setting a bad precedence in the judicial system through his flagrance disobedience to an Order of the Court.
Speaking with journalists in Abeokuta, Secretary of the Ogun former LGs Political Functionaries, Hon. Kazeem Adebisi said the affected functionaries have on two occasions, secured the judgements of the NIC in the suits numbers: NICN/IB/92/2016 which they instituted against the Ogun State Government for its refusal to pay their entitlements.
Hon. Kazeem further stated that in the judgment, entered into by the NICN presided over by Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale in the 17th of March, 2021, ruled that all their entitlements, comprising of 3-years severance package; furniture allowance and an unpaid salaries arrears for the months of February and March, 2007 all amounting to the sum of N1. 284Billion be paid without further delay.
He further disclosed that the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration had on the 25th of June, 2021 through the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, as well as the Director of Civil Litigation and Advisory Services, entered into a Terms of Settlements with the claimants through which it promised to offset their gratuities and allowances, but later failed to honour its promises.
Consequent upon that failure and the death of some of his members before and after the judgments, Hon. Kazeem said the development forced his members to return to the Industrial Court on the 23rd of March, 2023 where they secured another judgement against the Ogun State government on the same subject matter.
He however, expressed the suprise that till date, the current administration in the state has never deemed it fit to honour the court’s Orders, which nececcitated their cries to the office of the Chief Judge of the Federation to prevail on the governor of Ogun State to respect the Orders of the court.
Kazeem reiterated that quick intervention of the office of the Chief Judge of the Federation on the matter would save the country from continuous disobedience to the Orders of the court, as well as an abuse of the judicial processes by those who often see themselves as above the law of the country.