Court Orders Sokoto to Reinstate Sacked Auditor-General

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Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto

The National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting in Sokoto presided over by Justice Kiyashot Damlak Wednesday ordered the Sokoto State Government to reinstate the sacked Auditor General Sambo Nawawi and pay all his entitlements.

Nawawi had on November 2016 filed a suit challenging his wrongful retirement before reaching the statutory 60 years retirement age at the Kano Division of NIC before it was transfered after the establishment of Sokoto Division in 2017.

Justice Damlak ruled that the constitution made specific terms of retirement for the office of the Auditor General with corroborating lawful provisions.

He said specific lawful provisions could not be altered with general provisions as laws were not ambiguous, stressing that Sokoto State laws and subsequent modifications were all voided as constitution superseded all provisions.

He said based on testimonies and exhibits before him, the claimant was wrongly retired from active service at the age of 52 after 35 years in service in 2016.

The judged granted all the prayers of the claimant and ordered his reinstatement into the office as state Auditor General and the payment of his salary and entitlements.

He further declared his retirement unlawful, adding that his lawful retirement should be 2024 as his biological date of birth is October 18, 1964 and awarded no cost.

The sacked Auditor-General, through his counsel, Sufi Basheer, had argued that his appointment was wrongly terminated before he reached the stipulated 60 years of age contained in the Auditor-General’s appointment rules.

Basheer prayed the court to reinstate his client, arguing that the general civil service rules were not applicable to the position of the Auditor-General.

The counsel to Sokoto State government and the state Attorney General, Mr Suleiman Usman (SAN), argued that laid down procedures were adhered to as the law provided that civil servants should reach 60 years of age or 35 years in service.