The court also ordered Sokoto STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION to issue to AHMINU HALIRU DIKKO (2nd claimant) retirement notice and other relevant retirement documents reflecting his retirement on 3/10/ 2018 on grounds of having served the state for 35 years. The claimant approached the court and sought against the defendants among others; A DECLARATION that in the absence of any proven grounds of inefficiency or inability to discharge the functions/duties of their office or misconduct/gross misconduct the 1st and 2nd claimants are entitled to retain/remain in their appointments in the public service of Sokoto State until each has attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years or put in 35 years of service, whichever is earlier. AN ORDER setting aside the purported compulsory retirement of the 1st and 2nd Claimants conveyed/contained in the 2nd defendant’s letters of “Notification of Compulsory Retirement as Permanent Secretary” dated August 27, 2018 reference nos. HOS/PS/031/VOL.1 and HOS/PS/019/VOL.1 same being unconstitutional, unlawful, null, void and of no effect whatsoever. Likewise, A DECLARATION that the 1st and 2nd Claimants are still in the employment of the Sokoto State Government and shall remain so until their appointments are lawfully determined. 1st claimant was employed into the Sokoto state civil service with effect from 23/7/1992 by a letter dated 27/2/1996 and was confirmed on 23/7 /1994. He rose through the ranks till he was appointed permanent secretary on 6/3/2012, he heard the approval of his compulsory retirement by the Gov. of Sokoto state (1st defendant) on RIMA RADIO &TELEVISION and was subsequently issued a letter to that effect on 28/8/2018. That, as at the time of his compulsory retirement, the 1st claimant was 53 years of age and had put in 26 years while the 2nd claimant was 54 years of age and is said to have put in 34 years in the service of Sokoto State. That apart from grounds of inefficiency, misconduct and or gross misconduct there are no other grounds or causes recognized by the said rules that may be used to justify the determination of the appointment of a confirmed staff in the civil service of Sokoto State. The defendants filed counter affidavit, deposed that that the 2nd claimant was retired after having attained mandatory retirement age of 35 years of service from the date. That the claimants attended political rally, were summoned by Alhaji Musa A. Gobir before a committee and they admitted attending the rally and the committee made a recommendation for their compulsory retirement on ground of public interest after which the head of service raised a memorandum to that effect. That the retirement of the claimants was done in accordance with chapter 4,section 6 Rule. Submitting on the merit of the case, learned Sulaiman Usman SAN argued that appointments are made at the pleasure of the governor, because the Governor has been granted with the power to remove the person appointed. The power of the Governor under the subsection is not qualified nor is he required to satisfy any condition precedent before exercising such powers. That contrary to the claim of the Claimants, the Sokoto State Public Service Rules 2001 do not apply to the appointment and removal of a permanent secretary because the Constitution has covered the field. Counsel further submitted that the claimants were given fair hearing and confronted with the breach of extant Circulars and Rules governing their employment including code of conduct and they admitted by way of confession and avoidance. Reply On Points Of Law, The claimant filed a further and better affidavit That the Claimants never had any occasion at all material times between 4/8/2018 and 27/8/2018 or subsequently to meet with a committee by whatever name called comprised of one Alhaji Musa A. Gobir, Permanent Secretary Administration and General services, at his office or anywhere to discuss any matter concerning, relating to or connected with any allegation of having been involved in partisan politics as a public officer and or admitting attending any political rally. After careful analysis of all the processes filed, and the submissions of the learned Counsel from both sides. The Court presided by Hon. Justice K. D. Damulak expressed thus; “It is my opinion that these committee members, being that they are neither members of nor set up by the civil service commission, as contemplated by sections 202 and 207 of the 1999 Constitution, but merely an investigative committee set up by the Head of Civil Service. “The validity of the action of the Head of Civil Service and this committee has become a question of Law in view of Sections 202 and 207 of the 1999 Constitution as it relates to the discipline of the claimants and therefore whether or not they did any investigation is not so much a controversy of fact as it is of law in the circumstance of this case. “The appointments of the claimants was therefore not at the pleasure of the Governor. I so find and hold. This question is resolved against the defendants. “The employment of the claimants herein enjoys statutory flavor, they cannot be compulsorily retired, disengaged, or in any manner disciplined without giving a reason; such was allowed under the common law in respect of master and servant relationship, but even that position has shifted based on application of International Labour Standard and International Best Practice. “The implication is that the claimants were not removed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Public Service Rules of the state; such a purported disciplinary action cannot stand.” His Lordship declared. The court declared as unlawful, null and void and accordingly, same is hereby set aside the compulsory retirement of the claimant as contained in exhibits “G” and “M” both dated 27/8/2018 with effect from 15/8/2018 before the attainment of 35 years of service or 60 years of age, ordered reinstatement of SULAIMAN SARKIN FULANI AHMADU (1st claimant) to his office from 17th day of January, 2019 with all his salaries and entitlements and to serve for the unexpired term of his employment until his retirement on 23/7/2025. The court also ordered Sokoto STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION to issue to AHMINU HALIRU DIKKO (2nd claimant) retirement notice and other relevant retirement documents reflecting his retirement on 3/10/ 2018 on grounds of having served the state for 35 years. His lordship ordered defendant to pay 1st claimant the sum of N1, 582,030.00 for five months salary arrears from 15th August 2018 to today 17th January 2019 and 2nd claimant the sum of N474,609.00 representing one month and two weeks’ salary arrears from 15th August 2018 to September 2018 within 30 days.]]>
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