The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Police Service Commission to immediately recall Mr. Aaron Kaase, who was suspended for leveling corruption allegation against a former Inspector-General of Police and the current Chairman of PSC, Mr. Mike Okiro.
In her judgment delivered on Wednesday, a copy of which was cited on Thursday, Justice R.B. Hastrup held that Kaase’s suspension by the PSC was arbitrary.
The judge noted that the PSC denied Kaase the constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing and did not follow the laid down disciplinary procedures in the Public Service Rules before arbitrarily suspending him indefinitely without pay.
The trial judge set aside the suspension as null, void and of no effect, directing the commission to immediately reinstate the officer to resume his normal duties and pay him all his emoluments and entitlements accruable to him during the period of his suspension.
The judge held, “I need to reiterate here again that the employment in this case is a statutory one, and the Public Service Rules which govern the employment in this case are made pursuant to powers conferred by the constitution.
“The rules therefore have constitutional force and they invest the public servant, over whom they prevail a legal status, which place their employment over and above the common law relationship of master and servant; and introduces in such employment, relationship, the vires element of administrative law.
“Consequently, any act of discipline of a public servant in the established pensionable cadre, which is not in compliance with the public service rules will be ultra vires, null and void.”
The judge added, “In sum, this court doth hold and pronounce as follows:
“That the defendants (Okiro, the Permanent Secretary of PSC, and the PSC) have failed to prove that a prima facie case has been established against the claimant (Kaase).
“The suspension of the claimant vide the letter dated May 21, 2015, is null, void and of no effect, and is hereby set aside; and the claimant shall be recalled back to resume his normal duties in the service of the 3rd defendant (PSC).
“The defendants shall pay the claimant all his emoluments and entitlements accruable to him during the period of his suspension and until he is recalled.
“The above orders of this court take effect from the date of this judgment.
“Judgment is entered accordingly. No cost is awarded in this action.”
Kaase, a senior officer with the PSC had petitioned both the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, accusing Okiro of fraud of N275m.
Kaase was subsequently suspended indefinitely from work without pay by the PSC. Punch