Removal of HoS Does Not Translate to Retirement from Service, Court Rules

By simplegurl • 2 weeks ago • 5104 views • 621 comments

Justice S. H. Danjidda of the Yenagoa Division of the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Yenagoa has held that the removal of a state Head of Service (HoS) by a governor cannot automatically translate to the retirement from the civil service.

Justice Danjidda, who made the declaration in a judgment he delivered in a suit filed by a former Rivers State Head of Service, Mr. Samuel Longjohn, held that although the governor has the powers to appoint the HoS, his retirement from the civil service could only be done in line with the provisions of the civil service rules and regulations.

The judge held that since a Head of Service (HoS) is picked from the rank of permanent secretaries, it is a political appointment, which implies that once the occupant of the position is removed from office as HoS, he or she needs to return to his or her former position as permanent secretary if he or she has not reached the mandatory retirement age.

Longjohn had dragged the Rivers State government to court over his unlawful retirement after he was removed as HoS of Rivers State in December 2015.

Defendants in the suit are the Attorney General, Rivers State; Head of Service, Rivers State and the Civil Service Commission, Rivers State.

The claimant, Longjohn, was first employed by the Rivers State Government through the Civil Service Commission in 1995 as Director of Treasury.

On August 15, 1998, he was then appointed as Permanent Secretary and was subsequently appointed Head of Service of Rivers State by the then Governor Chibuike Amaechi in August 20, 2012.

He, however, said on July 15, 2015, he heard his purported removal as HoS on the orders of the state Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, on the radio.

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