Court Slams Restraining Order On Governor El-Rufai
Hon. Justice Lawal Mani of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Marafa, Kaduna has slammed an interlocutory injunction/restraining order on Governor Nasiru El-rufai of Kaduna state. With this development, the government of El-rufai has been prevented from disengaging any teacher on the ground of failing the competency test, adding that, the status quo be maintained pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The restraining order was granted following the counsel’s to the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Sam Atung, Esq, prayer on behalf of the claimants/Applicants to the honourable court. “Defendant/Respondents whether acting by themselves, their officers, servants, agents and privies whosoever and howsoever otherwise from dismissing, terminating or in any manner whatsoever disengage any Primary School Teacher in the public schools of Kaduna state from his employment on the grounds of having failed the competency test conducted at the instance of the Kaduna state government pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating summons,” has said.
Atung said, the outcome of the court proceeding is a great relief to the 21, 780 teachers that have been penciled down for sacking by the state government. Though, it is an interim injunction pending the substantive suit but, it has helped doused down the anxiety and tension that had gripped the teachers.
The National Vice President of NUT, comrade Zakari Hussaini, said, we have reasons to be happy after the pronouncement by the judge and we pray that at the end we shall be happy for it, adding that, all the nineteen states of the NUT in the north were at the court to show solidarity to the Kaduna state branch of the NUT in the spirit of togetherness. “As I can see, the teachers in kaduna state are standing by their chairman, comrade Audu Amba because he has been standing for them. This is what unionism is all about and this exactly why we all come down to support Amba.”
Hussaini urged teachers to continue to support Amba to serve them better and that at the end the benefit will go to all and sundry. On his side, the state NUT chairman warned teachers against writing and commenting on social media on the ongoing court trial, saying, if they don’t articulate their points well, it may incite negative reaction somewhere.
It will be recalled that, on 3rd June, 2017 the Kaduna state government conducted a competency test for teachers in Kaduna state and it was declared that 66% of teachers who sat for the test failed and were due to be sacked and replaced, which provoked reaction from the state NUT. They condemned the powers exercised by the governor to determine who is a teacher in Nigeria and its role as the apex regulating agency of the teaching profession in Nigeria empowered by law to conduct such competency test
And that the Kaduna state government and stakeholders in the educational sub-sector had initially agreed that the pass mark in respect of the competency test be pegged at 60% but, it was later changed to 75% by the government through a unilateral decision and action and 66% of primary school teachers in the state failed the competency test conducted at the instance of Kaduna state government by not scoring up to 75% and as a result whereof 21, 780 teachers would be dismissed from service while 25, 000 would be recruited to replace them. The case has been adjourned to 6th February, 2018 for next hearing on the matter.