The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Kaduna division, Thursday placed on hold the planned sack of 21,780 primary school teachers who failed a competency test organised by the Kaduna State government.
The lawyer representing the teachers, Samuel Atum, had on October 30 filed a motion of “interlocutory injunction”, asking the court to restrain the government from dismissing or disengaging any teacher on the basis of the competency test conducted in June 2017.
Justice Lawal Mani granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit. The case was then adjourned to February 6, 2018.
Thursday’s hearing was attended by hundreds of teachers and labour leaders.
Reacting, Atum praised the court for “graciously” granting the order.
“This is democracy and the premise of democracy is the rule of law, so we expect nothing more than absolute submission by the state government to comply with the order of the court,” he told journalists. “I have confidence that the government will comply or obey this order”, he said.
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This issue caused national stir after news emerged that the affected teachers failed a Primary Four-based competency test, following which the Kaduna State government vowed to sack them despite political backlash and threats by the local chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) to embark on indefinite strike.
The government also said it would recruit 25,000 qualified teachers to replace them.
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