Nigeria Immigration Service Court dismisses stagnation suit filed by officer

In his ruling, the judge, Justice Edith Agbakoba, held that there was merit in the respondent’s arguments that the claimant had filed the suit `off time.’

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The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Monday dismissed an alleged denial of promotion suit filed by an officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Chief Supt. Daniel Makolo.

The suit filed against the Head of Service of the Federation, was dismissed because it was filed out of time.

Makolo instituted the suit on grounds of alleged denial of promotion since 1992.

In his ruling, the judge, Justice Edith Agbakoba, held that there was merit in the respondent’s arguments that the claimant had filed the suit `off time.’

This ruling followed the preliminary objections filed by the Head of Service of the Federation and the Nigeria Immigration Service, challenging the competence of the court to hear the suit.

She also held that promotion was not automatic or a right, saying that it is a privilege.

According to Agbakoba, there is no merit in the claimant’s argument of the ‘continuous injury’ he complained about.

“The suit is incompetent and statute barred, the matter is hereby struck out and dismissed.

“I make no order as to cost,’’ the judge ruled.

NAN reports that the claimant was seeking elevation to the rank of Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration.

Makolo prayed the court to compel his employers to promote him to the rank of Deputy Comptroller General, which he claimed to deserve.

Other respondents listed in the suit are the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau; the Chairman, ICPC and the Minister of Interior.

The aggrieved officer alleged that the respondents “unjustly’’ denied him promotion over the years by keeping him in the “limbo.’’

The claimant prayed the court to direct the respondents to issue him a letter of special promotion and decorate him with the new rank.

Makolo also urged the court to declare that the neglect of the respondents to address the `wrongs’, he officially complained about on its merits, amounted to an act of gross misconduct that could compromise national interest.

Meanwhile, reacting to the ruling, the claimant who represented himself in court, said he would obtain the judgment to see if there would be any remedy in law.

I will get the judgment, review it and look at what the law says.

“Any opportunity under the law will be pursued to its logical conclusion,’’ Makolo said.

Also reacting, counsel to the HOS, Mr I. Hamman, said that the judgment was a “fair one.’’

He said that the case of the claimant was dismissed because it was not filed within the three months limitation period prescribed by law.

“It is a fair judgment as that is the requirement of the law.

“Any suit against a public officer must commence within the three months of occurrence of a cause of action,’’ Hamman said. 

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