The court relied on an undertaking it extracted from the lawyer to the state government, Mr. Frank Onyiri, that he would advise his clients not to tamper with issues raised in the suit filed by the permanent secretaries pending the determination of the case. About 14 permanent secretaries in Rivers dragged the state government to the NIC, protesting their compulsory retirement from the state civil service. Some of the secretaries are – Mr. Sam Woka, Ms. Kadilo Brown, Mr. Augustine Orlu-Orlu, Mr. Muka Nwikosi, Mr Minabelema Michael-West, Mrs. Ngozi Abu, Mr. Kingsley Hart and Mrs Justina Jumbo. The state’s Attorney-General, the Head of Service of the state, the Rivers State Civil Service Commission, and the Accountant General of Rivers, were also joined in the suit. When the matter resumed on Thursday for hearing, Onyiri appealed to the court to give him time to file a preliminary objection to the suit. He argued that the matter should not be heard because the suit was an abuse of the court process. He contended that it was improper for the claimants to lump their claims together in a single suit. Onyiri also gave an indication that his clients were trying to begin an eviction process against the claimants. But the court presided over by Justice James Agbadu-Fishim said there was nothing wrong in the claimants coming together in a single suit to advance their interests. He said the claimants were only required to “particularize” each of their claims in the suit.]]>

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