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Pension Commission dragged to court over denial of salaries, unlawful labour practices  

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Aggrieved workers of the National Pension Commission (PenCOM) have taken the  Commission and its chairman to the National Industrial Court, (NIC) in AbujaAbuja over alleged denial of salaries and unlawful labour practice.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Femi Falana filed the suit unbehalf of the staff.

Numbering about 20, the aggrieved staff filed the suit on behalf of themselves and others employed by the Commission in March 2017. They are challenging the commission and its chairman before the court on the grounds of unlawful restraint from performing their statutory functions after engagement and refusal to be paid salaries and other entitlements.

The claimants alleged that they were employed since March 2017, but that when they resumed duties at the commission, they were later prevented from performing their statutory duty after the resumption.

In their originating summons, they are seeking the Court order directing the Commission to pay them forthwith their salaries, arrears, and allowances from the date of their employment till when the judgment of the Court is complied with by the Commission and the same to be calculated using the Commission’s Salary Structure for its employees.

The claimants also sought a declaration that “having regard to the provisions of Section 28 and 29 of the Pension Reform Act 2014, Regulations 040102 and 130105 of the Public Service Rules, the failure of the Commission to pay them their salaries, arrears, allowances and promotion from the date of their employment till date is an unfair labour practice, discriminatory, ultra vires and in violation of the provisions of the PENCOM Act and the Public Service Rules.”

They also seek a mandatory order “directing the Commission to pay them forthwith their salaries, arrears, allowances from the date of their employment till when the judgment of the Court is complied with by the Commission and the same should be calculated using the Commission’s Salary Structure for its employees.”

Also sought is, “an order of injunction directing the Commission to immediately promote them to their rightful position in the Commission based on their employment with the Commission.

“Another order restraining the Commission from further harassing, intimidating, threatening the employment of the Claimants or restraining the Claimants from performing their statutory function in the Commission as Staff of the Commission.”

In the suit marked, NIC/ABJ/188/2022, Counsel to the claimants, Samuel Ogala, of Falana & Falana’s Chambers, formulated three legal questions for determination by the court, as to whether, “having regard to the provisions of Section 28 and 29 of the Pension Reform Act 2014 the Claimants by virtue of their Offer letters and acceptance are public servants and employees of the Commission.

“Regard to the provisions of Section 28 and 29 of the Pension Reform Act 2014, Regulations 040102 and 130105 of the Public Service Rules, the Claimants being staff of the Commission are entitled to be paid their salaries, arrears, allowances and receive their promotion in the Commission in accordance to what Is applicable to other officers of equivalent rank in the Commission.

“Regard to the provisions of SECTION 28 and 29 of the PENSION REFORM ACT 2014, Regulations 040102 and 130105 of the Public Service Rules, the failure of the Commission to pay the Claimants their salaries, arrears, allowances and promotion from the date of their employment till date is an unfair labor practice, discriminatory, ultra vires and in violation of the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014 and the Public Service Rules.”

The Pension Commission and its Chairman are the 1st and 2nd defendants, respectfully, in the suit.e

The suit has now been fixed for October 13 for mention.

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