Court throws out ex-Naval staff’s reinstatement suit


The National Industrial Court, Abuja, has thrown out the suit instituted by Enoch Iliya against the Nigerian Navy, seeking reinstatement and payment of his entitlements.

The claimant who was a Petty Officer in the Nigerian Navy served as a Radio Supervisor at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna, until his alleged forceful retirement in 2015.

Delivering judgment, Justice Sanusi Kado, said the suit did not satisfy the conditions stipulated by the Public Officers Protection Act Section 2 (a).

The Section of that Act states that any counter-action against public officers should be instituted within three months of action.

He said the suit which was instituted in September, 2017 failed to meet the three months requirement.

According to Kado, a period of more than two years has elapsed from the date of the alleged forceful retirement of the claimant.
The claimant had sought for reinstatement and payment of his salary and entitlements from the day he was retired till now.

The claimant had also alleged that he was sent on compulsory retirement based on a trivia excuse not known to Military Law.

The Chief of Naval Staff had argued that the applicant was sacked because he absented himself from military duties.

He submitted that Iliya was absent from work without leave or pass leading him to also be absent from an essential passing-out-parade of a course he underwent.

The claimant counsel, Bala Gwadah said his client was brought before a court martial and had been demoted as part of disciplinary action in 2009 for that offence.

Gwadah argued that hinging his client’s compulsory retirement on an offence for which he was punished amounted to injustice.