By Barr. Sunday Wugira
Reading the above captioned news as carried by an online medium, TGNews on the 6th day of May, 2020 for the umpteenth time since 2019, I am constrained albeit reluctantly to respond to the news item mainly to enlighten my brother, the writer and to awaken the public on the need to know the facts which my brother is either oblivious of, or he is deliberately suppressing which are both not helpful or in the best interest of his medium.
Yes, the government of Adamawa State under the leadership of his Excellency Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, upon assumption of office suspended boards, agencies and commissions’ appointed leadership in the state. Eventually, after due diligence investigation, they were dissolved as a result of the breaches in procedure and form in their appointments as required by law.
It was on that premise however, that members of the State Civil Service Commission namely: 1. Alh. Shuaibu Bobbo Hamid 2. Mohammed Abdu Mayas 3. Amina Kabiru 4. Aliyu Sadiq and 5. Shehu Audu as Claimants instituted an action before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Yola Division in suit no. NICN/YL/08/2019 filed on the 7/6/2019 against the 1. Governor of Adamawa State 2. Attorney General of Adamawa State and 3. Adamawa State House of Assembly as Respondents, seeking for 5 reliefs and an omnibus prayer.
After exchange of pleadings and hearing, judgment was entered in favour of the Claimants and against the Respondents on the 19/09/2019.
Sequel to that, the Respondents sought and obtained the leave of Court to appeal the judgment of the trial National Industrial Court of Nigeria before the Court of Appeal and as at now, the appeal is pending before the court of appeal, Yola division.
It is instructive at this juncture to note that after the judgment in their favour before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, the same members of the removed Civil Service Commission, without waiting for the outcome of the case before the appellate court, went back to the same National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Yola division and instituted a fresh action in Suit No. NICN/YL/16/2019 as Claimants against the Same parties hitherto as Respondents. As a Lawyer, I would refrain from making comments on these cases, pending before the Honourable Court but common sense would make every informed person realize that where cases are pending before the court, particularly on appeal, it would amount to concession and abandonment of the appeal by the appellant to turn around and comply with what he is appealing against! The government of Adamawa state is still pursuing its appeal but for corona virus pandemic which makes it impossible for the court to sit.
It is in view of the above that I opt, reluctantly like I said earlier, to respond and educate my brother Tom Garba.
To posit that the government of Adamawa State is in disregard of a judgment of court that is subject matter of an appeal is borne out of either ignorance, mischief or both.
It is equally alarming that this same news item (or could it be advertisement?) is recurring on the same medium serially without any further effort to investigate, get informed opinion and proper perspective on the issues. An investigative reporter goes beyond the ordinary armchair writer to understand the subject matter of reportage, find the whole stages the cause would go and where it is presently, why it is there and what would be the probable outcome from the stage and what next after.
We owe the public a duty to keep them informed correctly at all times or we risk losing our credibility completely. In this era of fake news, every medium strives to distinguish itself as a medium of truth and accuracy. While accepting the fact that it is a well known adage that ‘he who pays the piper dictates the tune’, the time has now changed that the piper must be conscious of his reputation otherwise his tune would be recognised as that of an undertaker that is only useful and patronised for burials.
The government of Adamawa State under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is fully cognisant of the rule of law and the tenets of the law to wit- to do what is right, hurt no one u justly and give everyone his due, which is further upheld by all the government functionaries and appointees.
It is equally note worthy to clearly state that as contained in the news item (or is it advertisements?), the writer stated that the Attorney General of Adamawa State in a telephone conversation said that ‘they should go to anywhere they want’! I think this is a huge joke! I got across to him as an elder statesman and a Learned Senior. He was amazed that such a conversation ever transpired between him and anyone. It is sad we look for ways to drag down whoever, in the name of politics! At the risk of being immodest, Barr. Afraimu K. Jingi is one man you cannot find fault with, save his humility beyond imagination. He is accessible anywhere anytime and by everyone yet, a medium could misinform the public against ethics.
I hope the public is watching, reading, hearing and sifting between the lines, words being printed and read, uttered and heard, filmed and seen for or against the government and individuals. The time has come for one and all to be careful and vigilant as to what we believe!
Sunday Joshua Wugira Esq., is the SSA on Public Affairs to the Governor of Adamawa State.