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Court fixes March 2 for ruling on alleged illegal Judicial salary deduction suit

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The plaintiffs in the suit are Mukhtar Lawan, Sule Aliyu, Sani Yau, Zahran Fagge, Yahaya Sani, Hussaini Galadanchi, Bashir Abdullahi, and Haruna Ahmed.

Other plaintiffs are Kabiru Danbatta, Fatihu Khalil, Auwalu Nidi Sitti, Auwalu Mohammed, Abubakar El-Yakub, and Sani Lamido, and representatives of JUSUN.

They are challenging the government over deduction of their salaries in November and December 2020.

The respondents in the suit are Kano State Governor, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner of Finance, Head of Service, and Accountant General.

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Reporters recalled that the court had on Jan. 6 restrained Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje from deducting salaries of Judiciary workers pending the determination of a motion on notice filed before it.

Counsel to the respondents, Hussain Suleiman, in his notice of Preliminary Objection, argued that the plaintiffs’ reliefs are issues outside the jurisdiction of the state High Court.

“Only the National Industrial Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear matters relating to the payment of wages, allowances, the welfare of employees and any issue related to employment, labor or trade dispute.

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“This is according to the provision of Section 254 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended,” he said.

Suleiman urged the court to strike out the matter for lack of jurisdiction.

In his response, Counsel to the plaintiffs, Faruk Umar, alleged that the entire objections of the state government were unfounded and groundless arguing that Kano State High Court has the requisite jurisdiction to hear and determine the case.

He urged the court to use its discretion under Sections 6 (6) (b) and 272 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended to hear and determine the case.

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Umar further argued that the state High Court had a requisite jurisdiction to invoke its power and interpret constitutional provision and an agreement mutually entered between parties in a suit.

“The state government slashed their salaries without any consultation and any reason, hence it resolved to seek justice and the reversal of all salaries deducted from workers.”

Justice Usman NaAbba adjourned the matter until March 2 for ruling on the jurisdiction in the suit.

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