…fixed for October 13 for mention
Aisha Dahir-Umar, National Pension Commission Director General
Some aggrieved staff of the National Pension Commission numbering over 20 have taken the commission to the Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court over alleged denial of salaries and unlawful labour practices.
Also joined as a respondent in the suit filed by Femi Falana (SAN) is the chairman of PENCOM.
A copy of the court processes was obtained by journalists in Abuja, while the suit has been fixed for October 13 for mention.
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The employees, who filed the suit on behalf of themselves and others employed by the commission in March 2011, were challenging the commission and its chairman over the alleged unlawful restraint from performing their statutory duties after engagement and refusal to be paid salaries and other entitlements.
The claimants, who were said to have been employed since March 2017, resumed duties at the PENCOM but were later stopped from performing their statutory duties after the resumption.
The workers in their originating summons were seeking the order of the court directing the commission to pay them forthwith their salaries, arrears, and allowances from the date of their employment till when the judgment of the court would be complied with by PENCOM and the same to be calculated using the commission’s salary structure for its employees.
The claimants also sought a declaration that, “having regard to the provisions of Section 28 and 29 of the Pension Reform Act 2014, Regulations 040102 and 130105 of the public service rules, the failure of the commission to pay them their salaries, arrears, allowances and promotion from the date of their employment till date is an unfair labour practice, discriminatory, ultra vires and in violation of the provisions of the PENCOM Act and the public service rules.”
They also sought a mandatory order “directing the commission to pay them forthwith their salaries, arrears, allowances from the date of their employment till when the judgment of the court is complied with by the commission and the same should be calculated using the commission’s Salary Structure for its employees.”
They also demanded an order of injunction directing the commission to immediately promote them to their rightful positions in the commission based on their employment with PENCOM.
“Another order restraining the Commission from further harassing, intimidating, threatening the employment of the Claimants or restraining the Claimants from performing their statutory function in the commission as Staff of the commission,” the plaintiffs said.
In the suit marked, NIC/ABJ/188/2022, Counsel to the claimants, Samuel Ogala, of Falana & Falana’s Chambers, formulated three legal questions for determination by the court, as to whether, “having regard to the provisions of Section 28 and 29 of the Pension Reform Act 2014 the claimants by virtue of their Offer letters and acceptance are public servants and employees of the commission.
“Regard to the provisions of Section 28 and 29 of the Pension Reform Act 2014, Regulations 040102 and 130105 of the Public Service Rules, the claimants being staff of the commission are entitled to be paid their salaries, arrears, allowances and receive their promotion in the commission in accordance to what Is applicable to other officers of equivalent rank in the commission.