BusinessDay

Sacked teachers to sue Abia Govt

About 5, 664 teachers recently disengaged by Abia State Government have notified the State’s Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) of their intention to sue the state if their demands for reinstatement are not met.

The teachers gave the notice, through a letter dated September 14, 2020, which their lawyers, K.I.C Chukwuezie, C.C. Evans, D.D. Dinfa, Babatunde Ojo, H.O. Nwokoro, C.C. Omereji and C.N. Oguamanam signed.

The letter, titled ‘Pre-action notice: demand for immediate reinstatement and payment of salary arrears owed our clients,’ according to their lawyers, was delivered to the office of the executive secretary, Abia State Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB), Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

It read in part “We have been briefed by Nnadede Doris .U. and Onuegbu Uzochukwu, for themselves and on behalf of the 5, 664 persons employed by your agency in the year 2019. “Herein referred to as “our client” and it is on their unequivocal instruction that we write to you.

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“We have been informed by our clients to the effects that they were duly appointed by your agency, via their individual letters of offer of appointment.

“And the consequent letter of posting to their respective places of primary assignment wherein they resumed immediately.

“We have also been reliably informed that since our clients resumed their duties, none of them have been paid their due and earned salaries nor allowances till date.

“We also gathered that albeit unfortunately that our clients’ employment with your agency was unlawfully terminated, via an on-air-announcement, credited to the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Abia State, on August 5, 2020.

“The purported termination of our clients’ employment was made ultra vires and is null and void and of no consequent effect ab initio having been made without due reference to Abia State Government Public Service Rules and relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended”.

The lawyers, through the letter, therefore, demanded the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of the teachers. They also asked for immediate payment of all outstanding salaries and allowances of the sacked 5,664 teachers.

They noted that the letter was also meant to notify the board of its willingness to take it to court if it failed to accede to the demands of the sacked teachers.

They expressed hope that the board would accord the letter the expected response by addressing the urgent needs of their “already distressed clients”.

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