The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday fixed March 22 for ruling in a case of alleged unpaid pension instituted by Aliyu Sani and 18 others against the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
The Presiding Judge, Justice Edith Agbakoba, fixed the date after listening to the submissions of parties in the suit.
The court will rule on whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case.
It would also determine the issue of statute of limitation on whether the suit was filed within time.
These were issues raised in the preliminary objection by the respondent’s Counsel, Mr Paul Omoluabi.
Omoluabi had argued that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case, claiming that the suit was already before a court of competent jurisdiction.
The respondent’s counsel, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the case, saying that the suit was filed out of time.
“We request that this suit be dismissed as it is caught up by the statute of limitation; it is also an abuse of this court,” he said.
Counsel to the claimants, Mrs. Adeseun Araoye in her submission told the court that the parties before the court were proper.
She explained that the case before the court was different from the one being referred to by Omoluabi.
“What we have before you my Lord, is about stoppage of pension, this suit is clearly different from the other suit which is about termination of appointment.
“We submit that my Lord has the requisite jurisdiction to entertain this suit, the claimants are entitled to their pension regardless of whether they were dismissed,” she argued.
Araoye urged the court to strike out the respondent’s preliminary objection.
According to her, if the defendants have any defence, let them file it.
The court then adjourned to rule on whether it has jurisdiction to hear the claimants’ suit. The claimants, who alleged that they were unlawfully sacked from NAICOM in 2008 joined the Commissioner of Finance in the suit.
They are asking the court to prevail on the commission to pay their unpaid pension and other entitlements accrued since 2008 (NAN).