Eight permanent secretaries who were purportedly compulsorily retired from the Rivers State civil service have instituted a case against Governor Nyesom Wike and the state government at the National Industrial Court,Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The aggrieved permanent secretaries are Sam Woka, Kadilo Brown, Augustine Orlu-Orlu, Muka Nwikosi, Minabelema Michael-West, Ngozi Abu, Kingsley Hart and Justina Jumbo.
Hearing into the suit commenced at the Yenagoa Division of the National Industrial Court on Monday.
Joined in the suit are the Attorney-General of Rivers State, Head of Service of the state, the Rivers State Civil Service Commission and the Accountant General of the state.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Tuduru Ede, told the court that the purported compulsory retirement of the permanent secretaries was in contravention of the civil service rules and therefore unlawful.
He urged the court to declare the exercise null and void since it did not follow the laid down procedures in public service.
Ede further applied to the court to restrain the Rivers State Government from further threat and harassment of the permanent secretaries with eviction from their official residences and seizure of their official vehicles.
“My clients have been severally threatened by Rivers government officials, they are afraid and therefore seek the protection of the court,” he said.
Ruling on the application for interlocutory injunction to restrain the government from harassing the plaintiffs, the presiding judge, Justice James Agbadu-Fishim, noted that the defence counsel was absent from court but sent a representative to apeal to the court for time to appear.
He adjourned the case to 21 January 2016 to hear the motion for interlocutory injuction pending the determination of the matter.