The National Industrial Court in Abuja has ordered the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPSB) and the NIS from proceeding with their planned promotion exercise for senior officials of the Immigration Service.
Justice M. N. Esowe of Court 3 of the National Industrial Court said, in an ex-parte ruling yesterday, that the affected agencies and officers are to put off the promotion exercise pending the determination of a pending motion on notice filed along with a substantive suit by an aggrieved NIS official, Daniel Makolo.
The judge gave the ruling after listening to argument by Makolo’s lawyer; I. M. Ebikwo argued the ex-parte application filed along with the suit marked: NICN/BAJ/208/2017.
Justice Esowa noted, in the ruling, that “the applicant was once accused of offence from which he was cleared. See letter of notification of clearance by the 2nddefendant dated 2nd March, 2017. In the 3rd July 2017 promotion examination for senior officers of the defendants, Compro. 08 – 14, applicant was not invited for verification/accreditation.
“Even though the promotion candidate is not as of right, in the interest of justice, all workers should be given the opportunity of attending the examination. The claimant/applicant was singularly omitted from this opportunity, which smacks of malice.
“Whereby the court hereby makes this order restraining the defendants, their agents, privies, cronies or representatives, in any form or guise from harassing or intimidating the claimant/applicant and from carrying out any promotion exercise pending the hearing and determination of this motion on notice already filed, and thus maintaining the status quo ante,” the judge said.
Justice Esowe adjourned to August 2, 2017 for the hearing of Makolo’s motion on notice for interlocutory injunctions against the defendants – the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPSB) and the NIS.
Makolo stated, in a supporting affidavit, that he joined the NIS in 1987 as a senior officer on grade level 07 and has put in about 30 years in service. He said he has served diligently and has never been issued a query, but has only been promoted four times due to the manipulation of the process by some entrenched interests.
He said: “My performances earned me recommendations, the fruits of which I was never allowed to enjoy due to blackmail and malicious treatment meted out to me by unscrupulous elements and their protégés at the helms of affair in the defendant organisations, with fraudulent intentions.
“Promotion is manipulated against me at an average of six years as against three years stipulated in the extant rules and regulations contained in the terms and condition of service entered into by the parties.
“My unwarranted and unjustified denial of promotions was actuated by blackmail and malice by the 1st defendant’s (NIS’) officers and same has continued till date as a result of which I have been kept in limbo, stagnated on the Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI) rank for about a decade now despite being a lawyer, a holder of NCE, LLB, BL, LLM degrees,” Makolo said.
By August 2, the court is also expected to open hearing in the substantive suit, in which Makolo is among others, claiming N50million in damages, an order compelling the defendant to accord him his deserved rank of Deputy Comptroller of NIS and to take effect from 2012.