Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Following the sack of staff and closure of the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, the Academic, Non-Academic Staff and students of the College, have instituted a legal action against the Edo State government and its agents at the National Industrial Court , Akure Division.
They are asking the court to declare that the disengagement of the entire staff of the institution as well as its closure negates the extant law establishing it.
The claimants in the suit are Mr. Ezomosogie Pullen Pius, Miss Iyase Linda, Mr. Unionmwan Osaro, Mrs. Ovu Bridget, Mr. Amionkhabhor Benson, Mr. Avanrenren Roland, Miss Oviawe Jessy and Agbaren Esellosemhe.
The defendants are the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Edo State, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Edo State, Edo State Government , College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, Governing Council, College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, Provost, College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, Registrar, College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly and Edo State Government.
The claimants, in the suit filed on their behalf by their counsel, Dr. West Idahosa, want the court to declare that the 4th defendant is a creation of law, having been established pursuant to Edict No. 1 of 1992 with its commencement date as 27, December 1994 and deemed as existing Law made by the 8th and 9th defendants vide the provisions of Section 315 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.
They want a declaration by the court that the arbitrary closure of the institution since 8, August 2017 by the 1st. to 3rd defendants is inconsistent with the Extant Law establishing it, therefore illegal, unlawful, null and void.
They further want the court to declare that the employment of the 1st to 6th claimants with the 4th defendant is statutory flavour and cannot be tampered with in any other manner than in accordance with the provisions of the Extant law establishing the 4th defendant.
The claimants urged the court to hold that the closure of the premises and gate of the 4th defendant by Police officers on the instruction of the 1st to 3rd defendants and eventual prevention of the claimants and others from entering it’s premises on 8, August 2017, is malicious and inconsistent with the provisions of the extant law establishing it and therefore illegal, null and void.
They want the court to direct the 1st to 3rd defendants to reopened the 4th defendant and release its annual subvention as approved in the 2018 budget for the purpose of resuming its normal academic activities in accordance with the Law establishing the institution.
They further want “An order of the court restraining the 1st to 3rd defendants from victimizing the claimants or any member of staff or and student on account of the institution of the suit.
“An order of perpetual Injunction restraining the 8th and 9th defendants from victimizing the claimants by abrogating, annulling or tampering with the extant law establishing the 4th defendant with the intention of permanently closing same pending the determination of the suit and thereafter.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining all the defendants, their agents, privies and assigns from further arbitrarily closing down the institution in a manner inconsistent with the law establishing it or in any other illegal manner whatsoever.”