- The former councilors who are yet to be paid their allowances approached the court seeking redress.
- The council denied computing the allowances accruing to councillors which amounted to N44 million.
- The judge ordered the local government to pay them the money within 30 days.
The Owerri division of the National Industrial Court has ordered Obingwa Local Government Council in Abia State to pay the sum of N44,306,000.00 to its former local government councillors.
Justice Ibrahim Galadima gave the order on Thursday. He held that the evidence adduced by the claimants remain unassailable, positive and cogent, and so satisfied that their claims should succeed.
Consequently, he ordered the local government to pay them the sum of N44 million for their unpaid entitlements, allowances and out-of-pocket expenses owed to them as past elected councillors in the council between 2016 – 2018 within 30 days.
How the court ruled
The presiding Judge, Justice Galadima held that the claimants have brought sufficient evidence before the court to warrant hearing their claim.
Consequently, he ordered the local government council to pay the claimant the N44 million within 30 days.
The judge added that if the council fail to pay within 30 days, a 10% interest per annum shall be paid from the date of the judgement until the money is paid.
- “The defendant shall pay to these 5 claimants, the total sum of N44,306,000.00 (Forty-Four Million Three Hundred and Six Thousand Naira) being their unpaid entitlements, allowances and out-of-pocket expenses (O.P.E) owed to them as past elected councillors in Obingwa Local Government Council between 2016 – 2018 within 30 days from the date of this judgment, which shall in default, attract 10% interest per annum until fully liquidated.” The Court ruled.
The claimants told the court that they were elected between 2016 to 2018 and were entitled to allowances during and after their tenure.
According to them, they had written to the council severally demanding allowances. However, the allowances were never paid to them even after they left.
In its defence, counsel to Obingwa Local Government Council told the court that the council never authorised the computation of any severance, transport, and furniture allowances for the claimants.
It argued that the payment vouchers presented to the court were not signed by any of its principal officers, Consequently, it prayed the court to dismiss the case.
The claimants in response argued that the failure of Obingwa Local Government Council to controvert the facts pleaded by the claimants has given rise to the presumption that the facts are unchallenged and so deemed admitted. They, therefore, urged the court to grant their reliefs sought.
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