The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) congratulates Mr. Aaron Kaase on his victory at the National Industrial Country, in his legal action instituted to reverse his reprisal victimization for exposing corruption involving the current Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro and others.
The National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting in Abuja has ordered the Police Service Commission (PSC) to immediately recall and reinstate a suspended whistle blower, Mr. Aaron Kaase back to work.
In a 10-page judgement, Justice R.B Hastrup held that the Police Service Commission denied Kaase the constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing and did not follow the laid down disciplinary procedures enunciated in the Public Service Rules before arbitrarily suspending Mr. Kaase indefinitely from work without pay.
She therefore set aside the suspension as null, void and of no effect, directing the Commission to immediately reinstate Mr. Kaase back to work to resume his normal duties and pay him all his emoluments and entitlements accruable to him during the period of his suspension.
In her words, “I need to reiterate here again that the employment in this case is a statutory one, and the Public Service Rules which govern the employment in this case are made pursuant to powers conferred by the constitution. The rules therefore have constitutional force and they invest the public servant, over whom they prevail a legal status, which place their employment over and above the common law relationship of master and servant; and introduces in such employment, relationship, the vires element of administrative law. Consequently, any act of discipline of a public servant in the established pensionable cadre, which is not in compliance with the public service rules will be ultra vires, null and void.”
It would be recalled that in May 2015, Mr. Kaase, a senior officer with the Police Service Commission had petitioned both the ICPC and EFCC alleging fraud of over N275 million against a one-time Inspector General of Police and the current Chairman of Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro.
As a fallout of his petition, Mr. Kaase was suspended indefinitely from work without pay. In late 2015, the ICPC under Eyo Ita came up with a report on Mr. Kaase’s petition directing the PSC to refund the sum of N133 million to its recovery account. The ICPC, however, curiously stated it found no criminal infraction on the person of Mr. Okiro but charged the Director Administration and Finance of PSC, Mr. Emmanuel Ibe, before an FCT High Court, Apo, on a 10-count charge of fraud.
CSNAC had petitioned the President and Secretary to Government of the Federation to demand reversal of the vitimization without success. This decision of NIC is to us, a major boost in the promotion of whistleblowing and clear assertion of rule of law over and above the rule of the corrupt.
Kenneth Achabo Esq who led the legal team for Kaase thanked the judge for a well-considered judgement, saying the judgement is a wakeup call for public servants to be bold to expose corrupt elements in the system knowing they have the backing of the judiciary in spite of the length of adjudication.
Chair, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
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