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Court Orders PSC to Pay Joseph Mbu N40M Over Premature Retirement Within 30 Days 

Court Orders PSC to Pay Joseph Mbu N40M Over Premature Retirement Within 30 Days

Court Orders PSC to Pay Joseph Mbu N40M Over Premature Retirement Within 30 Days

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The National Industrial Court in Nigeria ruled on Monday, July 3, 2023, that the police service Commission, PSC, must pay retired Assistant Inspector General, AIG, Joseph Mbu, the sum of N40 million in general damages.

The court deemed Mbu’s premature retirement to be unlawful.

Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae, who presided over the case, stated, “I hold that the claimant’s premature retirement through a press release on July 2, 2016, is unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect”.

Additionally, the court nullified the retirement and declared that Mbu remained an officer of the Nigeria Police Force, NF until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 on May 10, 2018.

The ruling further orders the PSC to pay Mbu his salaries, allowances, and entitlements from the date of his unlawful retirement on July 2, 2016, until May 10, 2018.

Moreover, the court directed the defendant to pay N750,000 to Mbu to cover the costs of the lawsuit.

The court has stipulated that failure to comply with these orders within 30 days will attract an additional penalty of 10% interest per annum.

However, the court rejected Mbu’s request for promotion to the position of Deputy Inspector General, DIG, and reinstatement, reasoning that such a promotion could not be upheld since Mbu had reached the mandatory retirement age while the suit was ongoing.

Mbu had filed the lawsuit against the PSC, challenging his compulsory retirement on July 2, 2016, when he was serving as the commandant of the Police Staff College.

Mbu argued that at the time of his retirement, he had not reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 or completed 35 years in service, which are the standard retirement criteria.

He was seeking to have the court declare his retirement invalid, as he claimed it was announced through a press release without any formal notice.

Furthermore, Mbu sought payment of his salaries and allowances from July 2016 to May 2018, as well as N500 million in general damages and N20 million for the cost of the lawsuit.

The PSC countered that Mbu was not retired through a press release but ceremonially pulled out from the force.

The PSC also claimed that promotions in the police force are not automatic and asserted that Mbu did not meet thy requirements for promotion.

The court noted that the PSC failed to present defences adequately, as it did not appear in court despite several hearing notices.

Justice Obaseki-Osaghae mentioned that the PSC’s lack of presence did not exempt Mbu from proving his case, which he did successfully with credible evidence.

This ruling highlights the importance of adhering to lawful procedures in employment and retirement within public services in Nigeria.

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