Kano – His Lordship, Hon. Justice E.D.E. Isele of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, sitting in Kano, Kano State, Nigeria on Tuesday 27th November 2018 in a judgment declared the circular dated 5th September 2016 Issued from the office of Kano State Head of Civil Service as void and with no effects to members employed by Kano State Hospital Management Board members, ordered refund of deducted salaries.
The Claimants sought against defendant among others; A declaration that the claimant’s members having been employed by Kano State Hospital Management Board Pursuant to the Hospital Management Board Edict 1995 are not subject to any circular or directives given by the Head of Service. An order of this Honourable Court declaring the circular No 11/2016 with reference No. HCS/ADM/5/61/7 SUB. I dated 6th Zulhajj 1437 AH/ (5th September 2016.) Issued from the office of Kano State Head of Civil Service as void and with no effects to claimants members.
Likewise, An order directing the Defendants to refund to the claimants the amounts deducted in the Claimants’ Salaries and other entitlements as a result of the implementation of circular No. 11/2016 with reference No. HCS/ADM/5/61/7.
By the endorsement on the complaint, the Claimants maintain that it is a Union of Employees of Kano State Government working with Kano State Hospitals Management Board, and that the salary structure of members of the Claimant is that consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) and their emoluments and other entitlements are governed based on the said CONSHESS.
The claimants also averred that Head of Service, Kano State 1st Defendant lacks the capacity to transfer 894 employees of the claimants’ members from the Board to other ministries that the said circular No. 11/2016 is void and of no effect because their employment is governed by the Hospital Management Board Law and the regulations made there under.
That the Kano State Health Management Board and its zones and their salaries and other entitlement were no longer calculated or paid on the basis of CONHESS and the claimants sought to reply on their pay slips and statement of accounts.
The claimants also averred that they are subject to transfer within the zonal office of the 4th Defendant and the transfer is within the powers of the 4th Defendant and not the 1st Defendant.
By way of response, the Defendants maintained that although the Board has been given the power to employ such power is not absolute but subject to control particularly by the 1st and 2nd Defendants who are responsible for the implementation of government policies.
After careful analysis of all the processes filed, and the submissions of the learned Counsel from both sides. The Court presided by Hon. Justice E.D.E Isele expressed thus;
“I hold that it is the Board and not the Head of Service of the Kano State Civil Service in the first Defendant, that has power by virtue of section 8 to regulate, Coordinate and Supervise the activities of all Zonal Hospital Management Committee in the State and to operate its own Bank accounts to employ and train its staff and exercise disciplinary control over such Staff and to perform inter-zonal transfer of all categories of staff.
“In the present case I hold that the continued act of the Defendants in proceeding to transfer the Claimants members in the letters of 7th November 2016 and 25th January 2017 was unlawful and void in the face of the pending litigation between the parties, which litigation had commenced on the 12th October 2016 with both parties represented in Court.
“The Defendants are hereby ordered to refund forthwith to the affected claimants (those transferred unlawfully) from the Health Management Board of Kano State by circular No. 11/2016 amounts deducted in salaries and other entitlements as a result of the implementation of the said circular.
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