Sheik Isa Pantami led-NITDA loses to aggrieved staff as court rules against NITDA’s preliminary objections

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has knocked out the preliminary objections raised by National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, through their lawyer over the case involving the agency and its aggrieved staff. Recall that the aggrieved staff numbering 245 dragged the agency to court for unlawful disengagement.
In a ruling on the matter today, the Presiding Judge Hon. Justice S. O. Adebiyi floored the agency on grounds which NITDA, represented by Barr. Ibrahim Atahiru and Barr. Francis Adejo bordered their objection.
NITDA has earlier raised objection that the court does not have jurisdiction to entertain the matter, even as it objected that the aggrieved staff erred in law by not stating their individual addresses in the 30 days notice it served the agency in according with Section 14.2 of NITDA Act, 2007 which states that before the agency can be sued by its staff, the aggrieved staff must serve it 30 days preliminary notice.
Passing the ruling, Justice Adebiyi cited the cases of Fedrick Fasheun Vs Attorney General of the Federation, Agbakoba Vs. INEC, Mobile Vs Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, Amadi Vs NNPC, Amechi Vs INEC 2008, among others in rejecting the grounds of NITDA’s objections. She stated that the staff in questions were not strangers to NITDA and as such the agency could not have claimed that it was not in custody of the addresses of the aggrieved staff as objected by NITDA Lawyer.
“The 30 days notice was to create room for negotiation. The aggrieved staffs are not strangers to the agency. Therefore, I don’t consider the place of abode of the employees as material for the disengagement of a suit. Considering the fact that there were exchanges of so many correspondences between the claimant and the respondents, before, during and after the disengagement, I therefore strike out the objection for lack of merit”.
It would be recalled that NITDA staff numbering 245 were unlawfully disengaged arbitrarily without recourse to the law. The aggrieved staff sued NITDA on the ground that they were duly employed and engaged and would not have been disengaged on grounds that the agency does not have resources to pay their salaries and allowances.
LeadingReporters investigation revealed that Sheik Isa Ibrahim Pantami’s predecessor followed the due process in recruiting the over 245 staff, having raised a model and innovative ideas that would not only sustain the employment of the staff but ensure that more Nigerian teaming youths are employed in NITDA.
Our investigation further revealed that Sheik Isah Pantami jettisoned the bright innovative ideas propounded by his predecessors {that would not only have sustained the newly employed staff but would have paved way for more Nigerians to be employed} to pursue his own agenda.
Currently, there are allegations of eye-service, self-seeking awards and recognisions even as the fortune of the agency continue to plunge. While Sheik Pantami keeps garnering awards, the fortunes of NITDA under his leadership keep plunging. Pantami collaborating it in one of his interviews on Hausa BBC that NITDA is going broke and has been borrowing for months to pay salaries.
Meanwhile group of stakeholders in ICT industry have challenged Sheik Isa Ibrahim Pantama to match his achievements with the awards he has been garnering.
“Sheik Pantami seems to be so much engrossed with self-seeking awards that he forgot that NITDA is plunging under his leadership. To convince Nigerians that he is a super ICT guru, he should put forward his achievement vis-à-vis his predecessors, otherwise one could deduce that the awards are bought and garnered for self-seeking purposes”
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned for hearing on the 23rd and 24th of January, 2018.

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Author: Leading Reporters