Innocent citizens of Delta State continue to suffer the consequences of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s ambition to become Vice President of Nigeria. Specifically, the administration of Ifeanyi Okowa has failed to pay salaries owed to employees of the College of Education Warri.
Recall that SecretReporters reported how Warri Wolves Players continue in the plight of non-payment of salaries as Gov. Okowa focuses on funding the Presidential race
Staff at the College of Education Warri have endured immense hardship, as the state government has neglected to pay their hard-earned salaries for more than eight years. Despite a court judgment delivered by Justice Waziri Abali in the National Industrial Court, Awka Industrial Division, directing the Okowa government to pay the college staff their salaries, the governor has refused to comply.
According to a staff member at the College of Education Warri who reached out to SecretReporters, the Okowa government has only made a partial payment of the arrears owed, gracefully ignoring the court judgment ordering their full payment. The government continues to withhold payment of salaries and other entitlements from the college staff.
The court judgment obtained by SecretReporters reads in part;
“1. A DECLARATION that the Claimants are employees of the 1st Defendant
2. A consequential order directing the Defendants (especially the 1st Defendant) to call the Claimants back to duty.
3. A DECLARATION that the Claimants’ respective appointments with the 1st Defendant are deemed confirmed.
4. AN ORDER directing the 1st Defendant to pay the Claimants the sum of N61,300,457 (Sixty One Million, Three Hundred Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Seven Naira) as contained in paragraph 9 of the Amended Statement of Facts representing their net salaries from February 2013 to May 2016.
5. AN ORDER directing the 1st Defendant to pay the Claimants their salaries from June 2016 till the date of delivery of judgment
6. AN ORDER FURTHER directing the 1st Defendant to pay the Claimants their monthly salaries, allowances and entitlements particular to their respective positions/grades from the date of delivery of judgment.
7. AN ORDER directing the 1st Defendant to effect all promotions the Claimants are entitled by from the date of their employment and to pay them all arrears of benefits and entitlements in line with the promotions.
8. AN ORDER directing the 1st Defendant to remit the appropriate portion of contributory pension to the Claimants pension fund providers and
9. AN ORDER restraining the 1st to 4th Defendants from interfering, preventing or in any way hindering the Claimants from performing their respective functions as staff of the 1st Defendant.”
When contacted, the Provost of the College of Education Warri, Dr. Dickson O. Oyovwi, stated that the government and staff of the College of Education Warri have chosen to settle out of court, noting that it is an ongoing process and that the governor has received all the necessary documents and is working on it. He added that the state governor is committed to paying the salaries owed.
On his part, the Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr. Kingsley Ashebogwu, refused to talk to our correspondent on the phone, stating that he will only speak about the issue if our correspondent goes to his office.