Industrial Court begins hearing on suit against Taraba govt versus aggrieved Journalists

By Chuwang Dungs, Jalingo


Justice P.A Bassi of the Jos National Industrial Court on Thursday commenced hearing on a suit filed by 18 staff of the defunct Taraba Publishing Company Ltd against the Taraba state government.
The judge however adjourned the case till November 18, 2021.
The 18 staff through its lead Counsel Mr. A.Y Shagaiya sued the Taraba state government over the non payment of their salaries since 2014, amounting to N79,917,507.6k, and discrimination based on their states of origin. 
They also claimed that while the indigenes were absorbed into the civil service, they were abandoned by the government without any formal disengagement.
The case came up for mention before Justice P.A Bassi with suit number: NICN/JOS/12/2021 with Hosea Yunana and 17 others as claimants and Executive Governor of Taraba state, Taraba state government, the Attorney General of Taraba state, Taraba state Commissioner for Information and the Taraba Publishing Company Ltd as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th defendants respectively.
During the hearing, Counsel to the Claimants, A.Y Shagaiya. told the judge that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants have been served but the 5th defendant couldn’t be served because it has no address and could not be located. 
But a representative from the Taraba State Ministry of Justice told the judge that an out-of-court settlement was being considered.
The case was only mentioned but not entered for appearance Justice Bassi, therefore, set 18 November 2021 for hearing.
According to Counsel to the claimants, an out-of-court settlement would only be deemed if there was any “concrete “agreement” with the Taraba state government.

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