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Ekiti Government Sued By TUC Boss

Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Ekiti State, Mr. Kolawole Olaiya, has dragged the Ekiti State Government to the National Industrial Court demanding N20 million damages over his demotion and compulsory retirement from the civil service.
Olaiya was retired from service by Gov. Ayo Fayose administration, on the allegation of involvement in partisan politics, an allegation he denied.
In the suit marked NICN/AK/13/2016 filed at the Akure Division of the Court, Olaiya averred that the punishment meted out to him by the administration was done out of malice.
He alleged that the government did not also want him to continue as the TUC chairman, in spite of being affirmed by a valid court judgment.
Olaiya prayed the Court to order the defendants to pay him N20 million as damages, his salary, allowances, incremental rates and entitlements from Feb. 22, when the demotion and compulsory retirement took effect.
Defendants in the suit are Government of Ekiti State, as 1st respondents, Ekiti State Civil Service Commission, and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice as second and third respondents respectively.
The state government had accused Olaiya of involvement in partisan politics and set up an Administrative Panel of Inquiry to investigate the allegation.
The panel recommended his demotion from the post of Principal Legal Officer, Grade Level 12 to the post of State Counsel, Grade Level 10 and his compulsory retirement.
Olaiya in his statement of claim before the court averred that he was not given fair hearing by the panel.
He said that the 2nd respondent merely accepted the recommendation of the panel and enforced same without calling upon him to reply to the allegations.
Other reliefs sought by the claimant include a declaration that his demotion and compulsory retirement on the allegation of partisanship without compliance with the extant Public Service Rules is ultra virus, null, void and unconstitutional.
Another relief is an order setting aside all steps and disciplinary procedures taken by the defendants against the claimant.
Also, that the consequential letter of demotion and compulsory retirement of the claimant dated 22nd February 2016 forthwith.
He also sought an order of injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents, officers, whosoever/howsoever acting on their behalf from victimizing, persecuting or otherwise penalizing him in the civil service and carrying out his lawful duties.
Olaiya contended that it was wrong and illegal for the state government to single him out for punishment among other labour leaders in organizing an adoption rally for former Governor Kayode Fayemi.
The TUC had on 14th June 2014, organized a rally for the former governor for his friendly disposition to the state workers welfare.
Olaiya said that the action was a collective decision by the labour movement and not his personal decision.
The claimant insisted that he is not a card-carrying member of any political party as a union leader or a civil servant and never printed, distributed or pasted posters of any political aspirant.

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