THE Kaduna Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) has reportedly dismissed a case instituted by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) against the Kaduna State government for lack of merit and substance.
A statement signed by the Kaduna State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Aisha Dikko, stated that Honourable Justice S.O. Edeniyi delivered judgment on the matter on February 2, when he reportedly decided that “the claimants’ claims are unsupported by evidence and as a result, lacked merit. The case was accordingly dismissed and no award as to cost was made.”
According to the statement, the claimants, the NUT and its Kaduna State Council Chairperson, Comrade Audu Titus Amba, sought for the nullification of the termination and compulsory retirement of all those who failed the competency test organised for all primary school teachers in the state.
The defendants in the suit, the statement said, include Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, the state’s Attorney-General and state’s Universal Basic Education Board.
“In the bid to restore the competency of the teaching profession and improve the standard of education in schools across the state, a competency test was conducted for public primary school teachers in the state on 3rd June, 2017,” the Attorney-General stated, adding that those who failed the competency test either had their jobs terminated or were compulsorily retired.
“The claimants however challenged the powers of the defendants to terminate and or dismiss from service, any teacher in the public primary school of Kaduna State, without the support of a simple majority of the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
“The claimants also stated that prior to the conduct of the competency test, the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) had written a letter to the defendants to state its exclusive role as the regulating agency of the teaching profession in Nigeria and despite the letter, the defendant still conducted the competency test and set the pass mark at 75%, contrary to the agreement that the pass mark for the competency test should be 60%,” the statement further stated.
Efforts to get the NUT’s response on whether the union will appeal the decision of the National Industrial Court failed as sms inquiries sent to the Head of Legal department of NUT, Comrade (Barrister) Okechkwu Okoroafor, were not responded to as at the time of going to press.