By Ola Ajayi
IBADANMINISTER of Communication, Adebayo Shittu has been dragged to court by his former aides over alleged unpaid salaries and allowances totalling N21,500,000.
The aides, Razaq Olubodun and Victor Oluwadamilare, former Personal Assistant (PA) and Special Assistant (SA) respectively in two separate suits filed on their behalf by the same counsel, Adewale Lawal Esq. are praying the court to order the payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances which the Minister denied them while serving under him.
While Olubodun, in his own suit before the Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court, NIC, captioned NICN/Abj/132/2019 is seeking to recover from the Minister the sum of N9.8m allegedly paid alongside the Ministers salaries and allowances for 24 months, on his part, Oluwadamilare in his suit, NICN/Abj/133/2019 is claiming N11.7m being his outstanding salaries and allowances for 28 months.
They want the court to declare that the non-payment of full salaries and allowances to them for those periods as wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional and that the Minister should be ordered to pay them their unpaid salaries and allowances according to the Federal Government directive for payment of aides to the Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Equally, the claimants are asking for an order on the defendant to pay the sum of N50m to each of them and to also pay them their full taxed costs of the prosecution of the suits.
The claimants averred that by their letters of appointments as PA and SA respectively, they were informed that their monthly emolument would be in line with the existing practice for paying PA and SA to Hon. Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Though, the claimants noted that the above stated fact was indicated in the paragraph 3 of their letters of appointments dated 23rd Nov. 2015, the defendant tried to make the salaries and allowances of PA and SA to Hon. Minister to look like his own personal affairs. The defendant tried to indicate this by an Internal Memo, seven months after the claimants appointments.
While Olubodun claimed to have received just N1m all through his period of service from the Minister, Oluwadamilare disclosed that he was paid thrice to the tune of N2.3m in his 28 months of service under the Minister, yet, the defendant was alleged to have collected all salaries and allowances belonging to them from the FGN and refused to forward or remit same to them.