Nigerian Ports Authority Shuns Court In Suit Filed By Pharmacist Over Three Years’ Withheld Salaries, Entitlements For No Reason
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has refused to appear before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Abuja Judicial Division over a suit filed by a pharmacist, Saifullah Muhammad Aliyu, who was sacked by the Rivers State Port of the NPA with his over three years salaries and entitlements withheld with no reason given for the action.
SaharaReporters in September 2022 reported how Saifullah who worked with the NPA and was deployed to Port Harcourt lamented that the management of the port authority was yet to pay his three years’ salaries and entitlements.
Saifullah told SaharaReporters that he was working with the Pharmaceutical Department of the Sokoto State Ministry of Health before July 22, 2019 when he was employed by the NPA.
He withdrew his services from the Sokoto State Ministry of Health and accepted the NPA offer, but two months into his employment, things went bitter. By August 2019, he received his salary but while colleagues were paid their hotel in lieu allowance, he did not receive his.
Meanwhile, the management of the ports authority had withheld Saifullah’s salaries and entitlements since August 2019 without giving explanation.
Saifullah had said that an 11-man committee was set up by the government to investigate issues that took place in NPA from 2016 to 2021 but till date, no one has heard anything about the committee’s report.
He lamented that feeding had become a problem for him as he had not been paid and also not been able to secure a new job because the NPA refused to give him a termination letter.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on the update on the matter, Saifullah said he explored several legal means but the NPA repeatedly paid deaf ears to all the pre-action notices sent to its Port Harcourt port and the headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, he contacted the Port Harcourt chamber of a legal aid group and they followed the case up, and wrote a pre-action notice to the NPA management in Port Harcourt “But while the Rivers State Port Manager tried to act on the letter, he was advised to forward it to the headquarters for the appropriate action, considering that all the people mentioned in the letter are in the headquarters.
“A source confirmed to me that the letter was forwarded to the headquarters, but up to now they refused to do anything.
“Another law firm – Madyan Legal Consult located in Abuja also acted upon my case, sent a pre-action notice to the headquarter but the NPA management did not respond up to the expiration of the prescribed time.”
Saifullah said he filed a suit before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) headquarters in Abuja and a date for the hearing was sent to the NPA headquarters but they refused to attend, hence, the presiding judge adjourned the matter to April, 20, 2023 and another notice on the new date has been sent to the NPA.