The leadership of the kogi state branch of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigerian (JUSUN) has condemned in strong terms and express serious disappointment the statement credited to the Secretary to the Kogi State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade, on the union’s position on the data capturing and table-payment policy of the Kogi State government.
In a statement signed by Emmanuel Waniko Chairman, JUSUN, said that they were shocked over her response in her letter dated 19th June, 2019 in which she found it difficult to understand the position of the union on the issue of data capturing and pay parade exercise.
“We had rejected participation in the exercise following the declaration of the exercise as unconstitutional by the National Industrial Court in its judgement of 3rd June, 2019. But instead of complying with the order of the court, the SSG shockingly wrote in the said letter as follows:
“I have been directed to inform you that the said judgment was obtained without the knowledge and participation of 1st-5th defendants in the matter and thus qualify as a default judgment, which can upon application to the court be set aside.”
“To us, nothing can be farther from the truth and nothing can be more mendacious! Even in our astonishment, we have been wondering why this government has a penchant for telling lies. The government will also stop at nothing in denying the obvious.
“Our questions are simple. Does this government have legal adviser at all? Where is the Attorney-General of Kogi state? Why is it so difficult for him to properly advise the governor on matters of law? Is he that ignorant and uninformed that he has serially been misleading the governor or is he serving personal pecuniary interests to milk the state of its scarce resources in the name of litigation?
“The evidence that the 1st-5th defendants (the governor of kogi state, his Attorney-General, Commissioner for Finance, Accountant-General and Auditor-General) had knowledge of the matter is as obvious as the daylight. First and foremost, when the 1st-5th defendants were served with the originating summons, the first reaction that came from Governor Yahaya Bello himself was made in his broadcast on the eve of the 2019 State Houses of Assembly elections after JUSUN had approached the National Industrial Court over the eight months salaries we were being owed then. It is notable that our unpaid salaries is almost 12 months now. He said in the broadcast:
“We are therefore happy that the Chief Judge of Kogi state was also joined to the suit by JUSUN. We look forward to being educated on how a pay parade across all branches and cadres of our civil service is prejudicial to the independence of the judicial arm but not the legislature.”
“And the National Industrial Court properly educated him afterwards when it ordered in its judgment delivered on 3rd June, 2019 that:
“The 1st-5th defendants are by perpetual injunction of this court hereby restrained from interfering with the mode of payment of the staff of the Kogi state judiciary particularly members of the claimant to collect their salaries by hand from the executive as it is illegal and breaches the principle of separation of powers. Therefore, it’s unconstitutional, null and void.’’
“We therefore ask again: who is advising this governor and his government? What further education does he need? And, can he say, in all honesty, that he had no knowledge of this matter before the National Industrial Court?
“Secondly, the court itself found that the 1st-5th defendants were duly served with the summons but only chose not to defend the matter for reasons best known to them. Of course, they did that at their own peril. And that does not make the judgment a default judgement as ignorantly stated in the SSG’s letter. By our own judgment, it was a judgment on merit which is why the court declared in the judgement in these clear words:
“Before I address the merits of this case, it is necessary to clarify some salient points, considering as stated earlier that the defendants did not defend this action or file an affidavit. Technically, therefore, this case approximate to one that is undefended but it must be pointed out that the defendants had ample opportunity to defend this action but chose not to”.
The court then assertively stated the position of the law, where there is no defense thus:
“As the effect of the failure of a party to call evidence in defense of a claim is that he is presumed to have admitted the claim made against him by the other party and the trial court has no choice than to accept the unchallenged and uncontroverted case placed before it by the claimant.”Share this on WhatsApp