By Suleiman Shehu
The National Industrial Court in Ibadan, has fixed Oct. 24, for hearing in a suit instituted by the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Oyo State chapter, against Gov. Abiola Ajimobi over unpaid N42.3 billion gratuities and pensions arrears.
The claimant instituted the case against Ajimobi and 5 others over unpaid N42.3bn gratuities and pension arrears of retired Primary School Teachers and Local Government workers.
Other respondents in the suit are Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Commissioner for Finance, Accountant-General and the state Head of Service.
The claimant’s counsel, Mr Lasun Sanusi (SAN), told the court that an agreement was earlier reached between the state government and pensioners that the N42.3bn pension and gratuities arrears would be paid in instalment.
Sanusi informed the court that the pensioners requested that the agreement be made as consent judgment and a motion on notice for summary judgment on the matter has been filed before the court.
He said that it was the judgment of the court that could be enforced because the court still remains the last hope of the common man.
In her response, Counsel to the respondents, Mrs Bimpe Segun-Olakojo, told the court that the motion on notice for summary judgment was just served on her in the court and she intended to respond to it.
Segun-Olakojo said facts and documents needed to be compiled before response could be made. She, therefore, requested for an adjournment.
Justice Fautina Kola-Olalere, adjourned the matter until Oct. 24, for hearing.
The pensioners who were in the court in large number, called on the government to urgently pay their gratuities.
Some of the pensioners were seen crying immediately the court adjourned the matter because they thought that judgment would be delivered on the matter today (Thursday).
Mr Waheed Olojede, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Oyo State Chapter, and his members who were in solidarity with the pensioners, called on them to be patient and law abiding.