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Lawyer wants ministers jailed for contempt

A lawyer, Dr Daniel Makolo, has filed an application at the National Industrial Court, Abuja, to commit to prison the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunj-Ojo, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), and the Board of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board for failing to comply with a judgment of the court made on January 24, 2023.

Makolo, who was unlawfully dismissed from the Nigeria Immigration Service in 2017, also prayed the court to jail the acting Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, Wura Adepoju, and the Head of Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, for flouting the court order.

The court had in its January judgment ordered the interior minister, the CDFIPSB and the Head of Service to reinstate the judgment creditor, Makolo, into the Nigeria Immigration Service on the rank of comptroller but the order was not complied with.

The motion for committal, known as Form 49 dated May 10, 2023, in suit number: NICN/ABJ/103m/2023, has been scheduled for hearing on October 9.

The defendants were however asked to appear in court to show cause why an order of committal should not be made against them.

It read, “Take notice that the claimant/judgment creditor will on the 9th day of October, 2023, at the hour of 9am apply to this court for an order for your committal to prison for having disobeyed the judgment and orders of this honourable court made on the 24th of January, 2023 in suit number: NICN/ABJ/337/2020 between Mr Daniel Makolo (judgment creditor) vs the honourable Minister of Interior, Chairman,   Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board and five others (judgment debtors) enjoining and compelling you:

“That it is hereby declared that the suspension of the claimant from the service of the defendants is unlawful, wrongful, null and void and of no effect, whatsoever; It is hereby declared that the dismissal of the claimant from the service of the defendants is unlawful, wrongful, null and void and of no effect, whatsoever.  It is hereby declared that the claimant is entitled to some level of care and support from the defendants in line with international best labour practices.

“By the order of this court, the claimant is hereby reinstated to the employment of the defendants without loss of rank, position or privileges; By the order of this court, the defendants are hereby directed to forthwith pay the claimant all outstanding salaries, emoluments, allowances and other entitlements due to him from November 7, 2017 when his salary was stopped unlawfully till when the claimant is fully reinstated to the employment of the defendants without loss of rank, position and privileges. This is the court’s judgment and it is hereby entered accordingly.”

Before the latest development, Makolo had applied for the issuance of judgment summons against the defendants/judgment debtors.

The interior ministry spokesman, Ajibola Afonja, referred inquiries on the matter to the NIS. The spokesperson for the service, Dr Dotun Aridegbe, said he would need to get the latest update on the case before he could comment.

“I know that the acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service is a law-abiding person, but I need to get the facts of the matter before I can speak with you,” he said on Friday.

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