Donating N500m to Sokoto, millions elsewhere, Gov Wike stops teachers’ salaries for 5 years despite court orders

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Teachers in Rivers have taken their protest to the ongoing Nigeria Bar Association conference going on in the state, registering their grievance against Gov. Nyesom Wike, a lawyer, who likes disobeying court orders.

In the period the governor stopped payment of salaries to the teachers, his administration doled out N500 million to Sokoto during a fire disaster.

The affected primary and secondary school teachers are those working in the staff or demonstration schools of Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, and Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic.

While an initial order, with a cost of N2 million awarded against the state by the Industrial Court mandated Wike to pay the teachers’ salaries in 2018, the governor headed straight to an appellate court.

The Court of Appeal struck out the appeal Wike’s appeal in October 2020 for improper entering of the wrong appeal.

“Appellants filed a Motion on Notice on 8/10/2019, for leave to amend their Notice of Appeal, filed on 13/6/2018. Their said Appeal raised or intends to raise (at the Court of Appeal) question of the fundamental right, raising a ground of appeal or issue on the question of fair hearing or fundamental rights by the appellant, in my view, is quite a different thing from the Suit, at the lower Court, being one of Fundamental Rights, under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution,” the court held.

“While the former has to do with an issue of fair hearing or fundamental right, which can arise in any appeal process, the latter has to do with the entire Suit, being one fought or founded on the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009, in which the principal/primary claim was/is a fundamental right claim, not ancillary.”

But up till now, the Rivers governor has not obeyed the court ruling.