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Again, Court orders Nigerian Army to reinstate illegally dismissed officer

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has again ordered the Nigerian Army to reinstate a senior officer, Lt-Col. Abdulfatai Mohammed, who was amobg the group of 38 Army officers dismissed from the service in 2016 in a controversial circumstances.

The judge, Rakiya Haastrup who gave the judgement on Tuesday said the dismissal of the officer by the Nigerian Army was in gross violation of the Constitution and therefore illegal. She declared it null and void and unsustainable.

Justice Haastrup also ordered that all entitlement and N200,000.00 fee be paid to Mohammed.

“The defendant has not proven the illegal retirement of the claimants, the procedures were not followed, no due process and facts. Action of the defendant are hereby null and void and set aside. Claimant will be entitled to reinstatement and a fee of N200,000.00 awarded to claimant”.

The Plaintiff is one of the 38 officers who were sent on a compulsory retirement on June 9, 2016 without any form of trial or General Court-Martial with most of them unaware of their offences till date.

The judge has however urged the Nigeria army to comply with the court order as this will be the fourth case where court has orders the reinstatement of victimised military officers.

“Advise your clients to comply,” Haastrup told the counsel to the defendants after her judgement.

Speaking after the pronouncement of judgement the claimants lawyer, Barrister Abdul Mohammed while expressing gratitude for the justice done has also urged the government to keep the law by obeying court order.

“When we began this the army 38, we have been consistent in saying that we have been victimised and there is no fact behind the punishment”, he said.

“At this point, I will challenge them to obey the court order”, he urged.

Col. Mohammed’s victory is also similar to that it Maj-Gen. Ijioma Nwaokoro Ijioma who secured a favourable judgement against the Nigerian Army with the Court ordering for his reinstatement, payment of all his salaries and compensations.

Unfortunately, none of these judgements have been complied with.

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