Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Following the verdict of the Industrial Court judgement, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has reinstated the former Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman, Kolawole Olaiya, into the civil service.
Olaiya’s reinstatement was in compliance with the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Akure Division.
The reinstatement was also in compliance with the recommendation of the state Committee on the Review of Irregular Appointments chaired by the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi.
Olaiya, a lawyer, was sacked from the state civil service in February 2016 by the Governor Ayo Fayose administration which accused him of political participation.
The court in a judgment delivered by Justice O.O. Oyewumi on July 3, 2018, held that Olaiya was not given a fair hearing and his sack did not follow due process.
Olaiya ran into trouble with the Fayose government in September 2015 when he allegedly warned the ex-governor against diverting the bailout funds received from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to pay arrears of workers’ salaries and retirees’ benefits.
The Fayose government subsequently set up an Administration Panel of Inquiry which recommended Olaiya’s compulsory retirement from service.
Apart from being axed from the service, Olaiya, who was a Principal Legal Officer in the Ministry of Justice, was also demoted from Grade Level 12 to Grade Level 10.
The labour leader consequently filed a suit marked NICN/8A/13/2016 at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, where he fought a two-year legal battle to get his job back.
The state Civil Service Commission in a letter signed on behalf of the Permanent Secretary by Mr. Salami A. Olusola, formally reinstated Olaiya into the civil service.
According to the letter, “Consequent upon the judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Akure Judicial Division, and recommendation of the state Committee on the Review of Irregular Appointments made into Ekiti State Public Service from 2014 to 2018 with the approval of the State Executive Council, I am directed to inform you that the Civil Service Commission has approved your reinstatement into the Civil Service of Ekiti State as a Principal Legal Officer, GL.12 with effect from June 25, 2019.
“You are to report to the Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice for further instructions.”