Court orders Arase to pay N40m to AIG Mbu, retd

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The Police Service Commission (PSC) must pay retired AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu N40 million as general damages, according to a ruling by the National Industrial Court on Monday.

The court declared that the claimant’s premature retirement through a press release on July 2, 2016 is unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect.

The court also set aside the purported retirement and declared that the claimant remained an officer of the Nigeria Police Force until he attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 on May 10, 2018.

The court ordered the defendant to pay Mbu his salaries, allowances and entitlement from July 2, 2016 when he was retired until May 10, 2018 when he ought to have retired having attained 60 years.

The judge while delivering the judgment ordered that the sum of N750,000 be paid to the claimant as cost of the suit, stating that failure of the defendant to comply with the orders of the court within 30 days will attract a 10 per cent interest per annum.

The court declined the relief of promotion to the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police, saying the claimant had already reached the retirement age of 60 years while the case was still pending.
Mbu instituted the suit against the commission over his compulsory retirement on July 2, 2016, when he was the commandant of the Police Staff College.

In his statement of facts, he said he was born May 10, 1958, and joined the police on Dec. 11, 1985, and had not reached the mandatory retirement age of 60, and had not spend 35 years in service before he was retired in 2016.

The claimant had therefore sought, among other reliefs, an order of the court to invalidate his retirement, which he claimed was done via a press release as he was never served statutory notice of retirement.

He also sought for an order of the court directing the defendant to pay his salaries, allowances and other entitlements from July 2016 to 2018, when he would have been due for retirement.

He also sought for payment of his terminal benefits, N500 million as general damages and N20 million as cost of the suit.

The defendant had stated that the claimant was not retired through press release, but that he was pulled out from the force in a ceremonial event.

The defendant equally averred that promotion in the force is not automatic and that the claimant did not meet some of the requirements for promotion.

According to the defendant the reorganisation in NPF at the time of the claimant’s retirement followed due process and the claimant was not the only person affected.

Justice Obaseki-Osaghae said that the claimant, having proven his case on its strength through credible evidence without relying on the weakness of the defendants, was entitled to some of the reliefs he sought.

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