Some cabinet members and political appointees who served as special advisers, personal assistants, in the administration of former governor Jibrilla Bindow, have dragged the Adamawa State to court, demanding the settlement of outstanding entitlements by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri administration.
The cases, filed separately, before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, comprise of a case marked as NICN/Abj/2212019, filed by 16 Former Governor Bindow’s Commissioners and a former Secretary to the Adamawa State Umar Bindir, demanding the court to compel the state to settle their unpaid outstanding entitlements amounting to N371,000,000.
The other, suit marked, NICN/Abj/210/2019, between former Chief Press Secretary to Governor Jibrilla Bindow, Mathias Yohanna and 33 others versus the Adamawa State Government, wass essentially instituted by special advisers, senior special assistants and personal assistants whose total emoluments according to court records amounted to N340,000,000.
At the hearing on Wednesday, Umar Bindir, principal witness for Bindow commissioners, told the court, that he and 16 others instituted the court action to press the state to pay them the outstanding emoluments due to them while they served the masses of Adamawa, but which Govenor Fintiri had allegedly refused to pay.
The presiding judge, of the court, Justice Tijani Mustapha, adjourned the case for 29th March for continuation of trial after adopting the deposition of the claimant following cross examination by lawyers for the defendant.
At the trial document including, appointment letters, letters of computation of the outstanding emoluments and that demanding payment of the severance package were all deposed and accepted by the court for continuation of the trial.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the court session, Konleganyiga Jonathan, Director Civil litigation, Adamawa State Ministry of Justice said that the delay in settlement of the emoluments was due to contrasts of finance.
He said that giving the nature of the dispute, it was advisable that the parties settle because their claims was statutory.
“So it is not deniable. But they must understand that has some constraints with availability of funds,” he added.
However, counsel for Special Advisers and personal assistants, Barrister Bala Sagna, former Attorney General under the Bindow administration, said his clients chose the court option because all efforts at settlement were rebuffed, adding that the court was their last hope.
He gave insights into the amount iinvolved which going by aggregations amounted to roughly N731 billion in outstanding arrears being owed the commissioners and other political appointees.
He said, ” Others possibly may have been paid, or they slept on their rights. But this are the ones who have come to court, the former cabinet members who served between 2015 and 2019. 17 of them each of them we computed their outstanding emoluments at N23 million per head.
“For the special advisers and personal assistants, it ranges between N9 million and N12 million when you multiply that by 34, that gives you a figure that we are talking about here.”
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