Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has reinstated the former Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman, Kolawole Olaiya into the civil service.
The reinstatement was consequent on the report of the State Committee on the Review of Irregular Appointments chaired by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi nullifying Olaiya’s disengagement from the civil service.
The reinstatement was also in accordance with the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Akure Division. Olaiya, a lawyer, was compulsorily retired from the civil service in February 2016 by the Ayo Fayose’s administration which accused him of involvement in partisan politics.
Olaiya ran into trouble with the Fayose regime in September 2015 when he warned the ex-governor against diverting the bailout funds received from the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to pay arrears of workers’ salaries and retirees’ benefits. The former TUC boss was subsequently queried by the Fayose administration for speaking to the press on the alleged plan to divert the bailout funds.
The Fayose government subsequently set up an Administration Panel of Inquiry which recommended Olaiya’s compulsory retirement from service. Apart from being axed from service, Olaiya, who was a Principal Legal Officer in the Ministry of Justice, was also demoted from Grade Level 12 to the post of State Council Grade Level 10.
The labour leader filed a suit marked NICN/8A/13/2016 at the Nigeria Industrial Court of Nigeria,where he fought a two-year battle to get his job back. The court in a judgment delivered by Justice O.O. Oyewumi, on 3rd July, 2018, held that Olaiya was not given a fair hearing and his sack did not follow due process.
The Fayose administration refused to obey the court order despite being served with the copies of the judgment until the expiration of its tenure on 15th October, 2018. But Governor fayemi through the State Civil Service Commission in a letter signed on behalf of the Permanent Secretary by one Mr. Salami A. Olusola, formally reinstated Olaiya into the civil service.
The letter reads: “Consequent upon the judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Akure Judicial Division and recommendation of the State Committee on the Review of Irregular Appointments made into Ekiti State Public Service from 2014 to 2018 with the approval of the State Executive Council, I am directed to inform you that the Civil Service Commission has approved your reinstatement into the Civil Service of Ekiti State as a Principal Legal Officer, GL.12 with effect from 25th June, 2019.
“You are to report to the Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice for further instructions.”