Alleged unlawful removal: ex-Chairman investment tribunal drags Finance Minister to court



The former Chairman of Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), Siaka Idoko-Akoh, on Monday dragged the Minister of Finance and five others before National Industrial Court over alleged wrongful and unlawful removal.

Other defendants in the suit are Ministry of Finance,  Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse (permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance), the IST, J.I Udunni (acting Chairman of IST), and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The claimant is also seeking N500 million as general damages against the defendants for the emotional and psychological trauma he allegedly suffered as a result of his removal from office.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, the claimant’s counsel, Mr Mimi Ayua informed the court that he had served all parties with all relevant processes.

While counsel to IST and Udunni, C.I Okpoko, confirmed receipt of service with court’s processes, Ministry of finance, the honourable minister of finance, Isa-Dutse and the AGF had no legal representation.

The Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado asked  C.I Okpoko, directed that hearing notices be sent to all parties in the matter with proof of service to be kept in the court’s file.

Kado adjourned the matter until May 5, for hearing.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the claimant was appointed as the Chairman of the IST on Aug. 1, 2017 and removed on Sept. 24,2019.

Idoko-Akoh has approached the court to seek redress and prayed the court to declare that  his removal was wrongful, unlawful and contravened sections 277 to 279 of the IST Act, 2007, haven not been either found culpable or indicted or charged for any misconduct.

The claimant is further seeking the court’s declaration that his appointment as the chairman of the Tribunal was for a secured tenure of five years and could not be removed from office except in accordance or in compliance with the provisions of sections 277 to 279 of the IST Act, 2007.

In addition, Idoko-Akoh is seeking the court’s declaration that “Udunni does not possess or qualify to be the acting Chairman of the Tribunal as prescribed by the IST Act, 2007.”

He is also seeking an order of the court  to declare as invalid, null, void and of no effect the letter dated Sept. 24,2019 removing him as the Chairman of the Tribunal.

The claimant, in addition, is seeking an order of the court to set aside, nullify and invalidate the letter of Sept. 24,2019 purporting to have removed him from office as the Chairman of the Tribunal.

Idoko-Akoh is also asking the court to compel the defendants in the alternative pay him  N251.2 million as salaries, allowances and other entitlements in lieu of the remaining three-year tenure, as  Chairman and an additional N10 million as cost of prosecuting the suit. (NAN)