Court orders Rivers varsity to pay ex-VC’s withheld salaries

The Industrial Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the management of the Rivers State University to pay its former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barineme Fakae, his seven years’ unpaid salaries.

Fakae, who had approached the court said the university stopped his salaries from 2015 following a claim by the institution’s Governing Council that his transfer of service was irregular.

Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Polycap Hamman, faulted the institution for withholding Fakae’s salaries.

Justice Hamman ordered the school to give him all the remuneration, entitlements and, or other privileges accrued to him as an employee who was given a letter of offer of appointment stated May 16, 2014.

Speaking with journalists outside the courtroom, the former vice Chancellor recounted his ordeal, saying it was a long legal battle.

“I have just come out from a very prolonged legal battle. I transferred my service from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, now Rivers State University.

“But I think it was not understood. My salaries were stopped. I tried to contact the powers that be, yet I didn’t see anybody to listen to my plea.

“I had employment duly approved by the governing council and so I was surprised to get a letter when I wanted to go for my accumulated leave that I could not be granted because my employment was irregular.

“I tried to find out what was irregular, but no answers. It has lasted seven years, and I am glad it has been resolved in my favour.

“I give thanks to God and as usual I wish to continue to do my work and give my service to Rivers State in restructuring the academia

“I had promised that whatever was going to come out I was going to give all to the service of God and helping the less privileged in the Society, and that I will do,” he explained.

Fakae said he doesn’t have any issue with the Rivers State Government, saying, “It was just unfortunate that if council had already made employment, and acting vice chancellor came into the university without reference to council was something which was very bizarre.

“I know that my employers have taken notes of the court and orders, and that I believe would be carried out.

“I didn’t think that bringing the university down by showing people that I have been mistreated was going to be a good record for the university.

“That is why some people didn’t even know that I was passing through this type of torment,” he added.

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