A witness, Mrs Obiajulu Obiageli, alleged that the letters of appointment presented by 56 sacked officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were fake.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sacked 56 staffers of the NSCDC dragged the corps and Interior Minister before the National Industrial Court (NIC) demanding for their immediate reinstatement and payment of N230 million accrued salaries and allowances.
Obiageli, who was the NSCDC Commandant Administration in 2012, made this known while being led in evidence by the defence Counsel, Mr Joel Ani, at the National Industrial Court on Wednesday in Jos.
“I did not sign their employment letters.
“We noticed some discrepancies between an original appointment letter and the fake ones the sacked staffers presented.
“If you look at paragraphs 2, 3, 4 5 and 6 of both original and fake appointment letters, you will see some irregularities especially 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 4th and 2nd lines respectively.
“I signed all valid appointment letters, but I didn’t sign the fake ones,” she said.
During cross examination by Counsel to the Claimants, Mr Timloh Jimam, Obiageli accepted that there were some similarities between the two, original and fake appointment letters.
When Jimam asked whether it was true the two different appointment letters carried the same date of issuance, April 16, 2012, she answered in affirmative, “yes”.
On whether it was possible for her to know all those employed on April 16, 2012, the witness said, “no! It’s not possible for me to know everyone of them.”
Jimam then gave her a copy of one of letters of the sacked officers to compare with the original copy of the appointment letters, and she could spot some similarities between the two.
Jimam then applied to tender the signature of the witness in evidence, which Ani, her counsel, did not oppose to.
After the cross-examination, the defence counsel, who didn’t conduct re- examination, said he was through with his defence and applied for a date for the adoption of written addresses.
Justice Kenneth Amadi, fixed April 15 for adoption of written addresses.
NAN reports that the aggrieved sacked officials also asked the Industrial Court to compel the NSCDC to pay them N800 million as General damages for what they described as “unjust and unlawful” withdrawal of their employment letters on Dec. 3, 2013.
Joined in the suit are the Governing Board, Nigeria Security and civil Defence Corps, Fire Service, Immigration and Prison Service and the Commandant General,NSCDC as 2nd and 4th defendants with the Corps and interior minister as 1st and 3rd defendants.
They told the Court that they were properly recruited into the corps on April 16, 2012 via advertisement but were on Dec. 3, 2013 tricked into submitting original copies of their appointment letters on the guise of “straightening our records.”
The officers claimed that they were 105 officers that attended the so-called screening to ‘straighten their records’ readily conducted by some visiting officials from the Corps’ Headquarters in Abuja but that at the end, 36 appointment letters were returned without theirs.
According to the claimants, since the retrieval of their appointment letters and purported verbal suspension on Dec. 3, 2013, none of them has received any letter of communication telling them either they are sacked or not.
They prayed the court to declare their verbal and oral suspension by the Corps as null, void and of no effect and order the defendants to immediately reinstate them to their status quo in the various commands of the Corps as posted in April 2012, when they were lawfully employed.