The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) on Thursday ordered the Adamawa government to pay N660 million to 659 sacked teachers by the Adamawa Post Primary Board.
NAN reports that on August 11, 2015, the teachers sued the Adamawa Government, Ministry of Education, Post Primary School Management Board and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice seeking a declaration that their appointment was valid, lawful and not illegal, having worked for a period of 29 months.
They also sought a declaration that having worked for the defendants for 29 months, they were entitled to the payment of their salaries and wages, allowances and entitlements totaling N638.9 million.
Delivering judgment, Nelson Ogbuanya of the NICN, Yola Division, held that the state government failed to provide evidence that the teachers were disengaged.
Mr Ogbuanya, therefore held that the teachers were still valid staff of the state government from August 2012 till date.
He also ordered the state government to pay the teachers their 29 months salaries within two weeks.
The judge also ordered the government to pay another N22 million as damages to the complainants for keeping them without salaries for the period under review.
Mr Uguanya rued the behaviour of some employers who could trample on the people’s dignity of labour.
After the judgment, Urbanus Jonathan, state counsel said that he received the judgment with shock.
Mr Jonathan, who represented the state ministry of justice, said that he would get back to the ministry and study the judgment, of which copies were not yet served before deciding on the next line of action.
Abubakar Babakano, counsel to the teachers, described the judgment as a landmark one, adding that it shows that judiciary is the last hope of the common man.
Mr Babakano said they would await for the implementation of the judgment.
He, however, urged the state government to implement the judgment without delay.
The teachers were employed by the Adamawa government under former Governor Murtala Nyako in August 2012.
The teachers were deployed to various schools and started work. They were given staff numbers, and started collecting salaries for six months.
The government however stopped paying them salaries on account that they were not professionals; that they were not holders of either Bachelors degrees in Education or National Certificate in Education.