Senior staff slams N150m suit against JAMB for alleged unlawful dismissal

He sought “an order granting to the claimant all the salaries, allowances, perks due to him or that would have been due to him but for the purported dismissal.

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Senior staff slams N150m suit against JAMB for alleged unlawful dismissalMr Yisa Usman, a Deputy Director with Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has filed a N150 million suit against the board over alleged unlawful dismissal.
Usman, in the suit marked: NICN/ABJ/266/2023 and filed by his lawyer, Oseini Bamigbaye from the Chambers of Mohammed Shuaibu, at the National Industrial Court, Abuja, sought nine reliefs.
BRANDPOWER reports that while Usman is the claimant, JAMB is the sole defendant in the case dated and filed Sept. 29, 2023.
The claimant is praying the court to declare that the constitution of the Board’s Directorate Staff Disciplinary Committee set up by the office was wholly irregular, illegal, null and void for failure to comply with Article 3.5.4 of the Board’s Staff Manual and Conditions of Service.
He is also praying the court to declare that the composition of the committee, mostly consisting of the board’s registrar and other directors who were beneficiaries of infractions exposed by him “in Item No. 6, Page 5 of his response dated April 3, 2023, to the query issued on March 31, 2023, is unconstitutional,null and void.”
He premised his argument on the grounds that his right to fair hearing could not have been guaranteed before the committee.
Usman is equally urging the court to declare that “the claimant’s purported dismissal by the defendant without the consideration of the Committee’s Report by the defendant’s board is unlawful, illegal null and void.”
The claimant, who sought an order setting aside his “purported dismissal” by the board, prayed the court for an order reinstating him “to his position with full entitlements, benefits and perks due to him by virtue of his position.”
He sought “an order granting to the claimant all the salaries, allowances, perks due to him or that would have been due to him but for the purported dismissal.
“An order compelling the defendant to promote the claimant as the Director of Finance and Account, being the most senior and qualified director in the Finance Department; the current Director of Finance and Account (DFA), having been holding that office illegally since May 9, 2022, when he turned 60 years old.
“Exemplary damages in the sum of N150, 000, 000.00(one hundred and fifty million naira) for illegally and unlawful dismissing the claimant as well as the emotional, reputational, psychological pain and trauma caused by the malicious, illegal, and arbitrary actions of the defendant.
“The cost of this action including reasonable cost to cover solicitor’s fees.”
In his statement of material facts, Usman averred that he joined JAMB in Sept  11, 1997 as an Accountant II and rose to the position of deputy director after receiving several promotions in the board.
He said at the time of the dismissal, he was in his eight years as deputy director in federal service and next in line to be the DFA.
He said his professional education, training, experience, and personal principles “shaped him as an accountable, honest, transparent, efficient, and anti-corruption individual who cannot tolerate any form of infractions and always speak up against them.”
According to him, this nature resulted in conflicts with the management of the board, as he is seen as an obstacle that needs to be removed
He said his commitment to due process and aversion to corrupt practices led him to lodge complaints to the management of JAMB, the Head of Service, the EFCC, ICPC and the office of the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education about financial interactions in the board.
Usman said unfortunately, these actions did not sit well with the board’s management, particularly its Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.
BRANDPOWER observes that no fewer than 33 letters, exhibited in the court documents, were written by the claimant to different government agencies in his efforts to blow the whistle on various infractions, violations of due process, laws, and civil service rules against the board in relation to procurement, bookkeeping and employment regulations.
Against this background, Usman averred that he suffered continuous transfers despite his constant pleas due to his physical and health issues.
According to him, within a period of five years, the claimant was maliciously transferred from Abuja to Kogi to Kaduna and then to Port Harcourt and back to Kaduna, despite his physical challenges and the distance from his family.
He alleged that the purpose of these transfers was to remove him from important core activities of the board and prevent him from raising concerns about any notable infractions.
Besides, he said that in the bid to shut him down, a trumped up charge was filed against him at Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja.
“Despite all these challenges, the claimant diligently and commendably performed his duties and responsibilities,” he said
Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae adjourned the matter until March 11 for further mention due to non-representation of JAMB in court when the matter came up on Monday.
The judge also directed that a hearing notice be issued and served on the defendant against the next adjourned date.
BRANDPOWER reports that the police had, on June 14, 2023, arraigned Usman before Justice Nkeonye Maha of a FHC on allegations bordering on threatening Mrs Raheemat Oloyede on the phone with the intent to blackmail her husband, Prof. Ishaq, the JAMB’s registrar, among other counts.
But Usman’s lawyer notified the FHC court, when parties returned to court, that while the trial was still ongoing, his client was dismissed when parties ought to respect and submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the court and maintained a status quo pending the hearing and determination of the charge.
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