Court warns Ministry of Information over delay tactics in 3-year-old suit

Supreme-CourtThe National Industrial Court (NIC) has warned the Federal Ministry of Information (FMI) against the continued delay in the hearing of a three -year old legal action instituted against it and two others by a former employee, Mr. Yushau A. Shuaib.

The warning from the court followed a complaint by lawyer to the plaintiff, Barrister James Abah Odeh of Bamidele Aturu Chambers that the Ministry of Information had in the past three years employed delay tactics to frustrate hearing of the civil action while other defendants especially the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) had been diligent in the court.

At the resumption of the hearing when the plaintiff was to be cross-examined, the Federal Ministry of Information was not represented by its lawyer, instead the ministry wrote a letter to the court requesting for another adjournment.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Abah Odeh who was surprised that the Ministry wrote for an adjournment instead of its counsel being around, accused the ministry of frustrating hearing of the legal action that was instituted against it to challenge the legality of the compulsory retirement of the plaintiff three years ago.

Although the adjournment was granted till July 12, 2016, Justice Edet Isele warned the defendant against undue delay of hearing of the case in the interest of justice, adding that Justice delayed is justice denied.

The plaintiff, Mr. Shuaib had dragged the Federal Civil Service Commission, Federal Ministry of Information and the Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala before the Industrial court in Abuja to challenge his compulsory retirement from the Federal Civil Service after a media publication title Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Controversial Appointments.

In the court action, the plaintiff prayed for an order of the court against the civil service commission to reinstate him to his post as Chief Information Officer forthwith without any loss at to seniority, salaries, positions and other emoluments.

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