NUT accuses El-Rufai of violating court order

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The Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) wednesday accused the state Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, of alleged violation of court injunction retraining him from sacking teachers.

The NUT had filed a suit at the Industrial Court against the competency test by the state government and the subsequent decision by the government to sack 21,780 teachers who allegedly failed the test.

The union also accused the governor for intimidating local government secretaries to collect the sack letters of the affected teachers for onward distribution.

Addressing a news conference, the state Chairman of the NUT, Audu Amba, accused the governor of attempting to frustrate the suit .

Amba said in spite of the court injunction stopping the sacking of the teachers pending the determination of the substantive suit, the governor had directed education secretaries in the 23 local government areas to come over to the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) to collect backed-dated sack letters of disengagement for onward distribution to the affected teachers.

El-Rufai had in an interview with the state-owned radio station last Tuesday in Kaduna disclosed that the teachers had been sacked a long time ago, adding that he personally signed the sack letters and the process of recruiting new teachers had since commenced.

Amba said the NUT was shocked by the governor’s comments on the issue which, according to him, is before the court.

The NUT chairman said: “Our attention has also been drawn to the fact that the state government, despite the service of the order interlocutory injunction, is now making frantic and desperate efforts to frustrate the outcome of the suit in court by directing the education secretaries in all local government areas to come over to SUBEB and collect backed-dated letters of disengagement from service for onward distribution to the teachers in their respective local governments.

“We are appalled by the pronouncement of the governor. Our belief is that the accepted norm in all civilised societies is for the state government to appeal against the decision of the National Industrial Court instead of resorting to an unfounded criticism of same.

“We believe that the rule of law is the bedrock of democracy and any government or institution that refuses to bow to the dictates of the rule of law automatically loses its legitimacy to superintend the affairs of its citizenry.

“We therefore implore and appeal to the conscience of the state governor and all its institutions to subordinate themselves to the judicial powers of our law courts as enshrined under section 6a of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which is our organic law from which government at all levels exist and draw their legitimacy.”

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