A Nasarawa State High Court, sitting in Akwanga, headquarters of Akwanga Local Government Area of the state, has voided the removal of a former Secretary to the Nasarawa State Government (SSG), Ahmed Aliyu Tijani.
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly (NSHA) had directed Governor Abdullahi Sule to relieve the erstwhile SSG of his appointment over an alleged N284.5m unaccounted school projects fund when he was a commissioner of education in the state.
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Governor Sule relieved the former SSG of his position and subsequently appointed Aliyu Mohammed Ubandoma as a replacement.
But the state High Court, on Friday, presided over by Justice Mustapha Ramat, voided the recommendation by the assembly for the sack of the erstwhile SSG, describing the action as illegal.
This was even as the court also voided the recommendation by the state assembly that the former SSG refund over N200 million allegedly unaccounted for as school projects funds when he was a commissioner for education in the state.
Justice Ramat ruled that Tijani was not given a fair hearing by members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, hence violating his fundamental human rights when deciding on allegations against him.
He said: “The court recognizes the provision of the constitution that gave the governor the power to hire and fire, but the former SSG was not given a fair hearing by the House of Assembly,” Justice Ramat ruled.
Reacting to the judgement in an interview with our correspondent, counsel to the plaintiff, Shikamma Kassam Sheltu, commended the judgement, stating that the most important thing was that the court has voided the removal of the erstwhile SSG as well as voiding his payment of over N200 million into the coffers of the Nasarawa State government.
Counsel to the defendants, Isaac Edoh, explained that the relieve of the former SSG by the state High Court was based on section 208 (1,2&5) of the 1999 constitution that the appointment and removal is based on the pleasure of the governor, which was what the judge did.