…Orders Release Of Seven Years Salaries
The Industrial Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the management of the Rivers State University (RSU) to pay its former Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Barineme Beke Fakae, his seven years’ unpaid salaries. The court gave the institution up to the 18th of July, 2022 to execute the order.
Prof. Fakae had dragged the university to court for stopping his salaries from 2015 following a claim by the institution’s Governing Council that his transfer of service was irregular.
Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Polycap Hamman, faulted the institution for withholding Fakae’s salaries.
Justice Hamman ordered the school to give him all the remuneration, entitlements and, or other privileges accrued to him as an employee who was given a letter of offer of appointment stated May 16, 2014.
The court declared and ordered as follows:
“It is hereby declared that the Claimant’s employment with the Defendant vide a Letter of Offer of Appointment dated 16th May, 2014 and which was accepted by the Claimant by a letter dated May 16, 2014 is valid and still subsisting.
“It is hereby declared that the Claimant is entitled to all his entitlements, remuneration, salaries, emoluments and/or other privileges which accrued to him as an employee of the Defendant vide a letter of Offer of Appointment dated 16th May, 2014.
“The Defendant is hereby ordered to pay the Claimant the sum of N2, 017, 589.10 (Two Million, Seventeen Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Naira, Ten Kobo) being the total sum of Claimant’s salary for the months of August, September and October 2015 at the rate of N672, 529.70 (Six Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty Nine Naira Seventy Kobo) per month.
“The Defendant is hereby ordered to pay the Claimant the sum of N672, 529.70 (Six Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty Nine Naira Seventy Kobo) per month from November 2015 when this suit was instituted until judgment is delivered and the sum of 672,529.70 (Six Hundred and Seventy Kobo) from the date of judgment until the judgment sum is fully liquidated.
“An order of perpetual injunction is hereby made restraining the Defendant either acting by itself or its servants, agents, privies, assigns or whatever capacity as howsoever called or described from stopping the payment of the Claimant’s salary including the arrears and other entitlements accrued to him as an employee of the Defendant.
“The terms of this judgment shall be complied with within 30 days from the date of delivery failing which same shall attract interest at 10% per Annum.”
Speaking with journalists outside the courtroom, the former vice chancellor recounted his ordeal, saying it was a long legal battle.
“I have just come out from a very prolonged legal battle. I had transferred my service from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, now Rivers State University.
“But I think it was not understood. My salaries were stopped. I tried to contact the powers that be, yet I didn’t see anybody to listen to my plea.
“I had an employment duly approved by the Governing Council and so I was surprised to get a letter when I wanted to go for my accumulated leave that could not be granted because my employment was irregular.
“I tried to find out what was irregular, no answers. It has lasted seven years, and I am glad it has been resolved in my favour. I give thanks to God and as usual, I wish to continue to do my work and give my service to Rivers State in restructuring the academia.
“I had promised that whatever was going to come out, I was going to give all to the service of God and helping the less privileged in the Society, and that I will do,” he explained.