By: Abdullahi Atiku
Aggrieved workers of the Association Of Local Governments Of Nigeria, ALGON, Kogi State Chapter have dragged the Association and its chairman, Alhaji Taufiq Isa before the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Lokoja over alleged Four years salaries owed.
They instituted the suit action through Omoniyi and Co Law firm, to seek justice at the Industrial Court.
The aggrieved employees who filed the suit on behalf of themselves were employed by the Association in 2016, are challenging Kogi ALGON and its chairman before the court on the grounds of unlawful refusal to pay their salaries which have accumulated more than 46 months.
The claimants, who were said to have been employed since 2016, resumed duties at the almost at the beginning of the first tenure of Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, enjoyed their salaries for some few months before experiencing hiccup as the payment started to experience backlog.
The staff have said that they made several efforts by pleading and writing correspondences to ensure that the issue was resolved amicably but did not yield any positive outcome.
Personal plea letters were also written to His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello and other principal officers in the government for their intervention but all efforts were fruitless.
Its after all the above efforts were exhausted that they decided to approach the National Industrial Court in Lokoja which is the last hope of a common man, to intervene and prevail on Kogi ALGON to pay them forthwith their outstanding salaries.
The claimants also sought a declaration that, the failure of the Association to pay them their salaries from the date of their employment till date is an unfair labour practice, discriminatory, ultra vires and in violation of the provisions of the law.
In the suit, Counsel to the claimants, Barr. Sunday Omoniyi, formulated three legal questions for determination by the court, as that the Claimants being staff of the Association are entitled to be paid their salaries in accordance with what is stipulated in their various employment letters.
He is also asking for his clients’ compensation for the sufferings, losses, embarrassments, physical and psychological trauma they have gone through during these months of unpaid salaries.
He also posited that failure of the Association to pay the claimants their outstanding salaries, as stipulated in their term of engagement till date is an unfair labor practice, discriminatory and ultra vires.
The ALGON and its Chairman are the 1st and 2nd defendants respectfully in the suit.