Four years after they were unceremoniously dismissed from service, reprieve came the way of 244 soldiers dismissed in 2016, when the ECOWAS Court of Justice, yesterday ordered the Federal Government to pay them their salaries and allowances.
The order followed an earlier ruling where the court had ruled in May 2019, that the process by which the soldiers were dismissed violated their right to work and fair hearing. Confirming the order via a statement issued by the court and sighted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the court said the order was given in a judgement issued by a panel of three justices of the court on Thursday. Delivering a supplementary judgement to its ruling of May 15, 2019, the court ordered the government to pay all arrears of monthly allowances and salaries and other entitlements of the applicants up to January 2016. It was gathered that the three-member panel for the case included Justices Gberi-Be Ouattara (presiding) and Dupe Atoki. In the judgement which was delivered by Justice Keikura Bangura, the judge rapporteur, the court said it came to the decision having heard the parties, considered the documents and reviewed its earlier judgment.
He held that: “The judgment of the Court ECW/ CCJ/JUD/21/19 delivered on May 15, 2019 is hereby supplemented with an additional paragraph no (VI).” The court, however, rejected the request of the soldiers for an order directing the government to reinstate them as ‘the court did not omit to give a decision on reinstatement of the applicants in the original judgment.” In the supplementary application lodged before the court on June 14, 2019, the applicants had asked the court for an order, mandating the respondent to immediately reinstate them, including to their respective ranks, haven found that their dismissal without arraignment, prosecution and sentence by a duly constituted Court Martial was illegal, null and void. They also asked the court for an order directing the respondent to pay their monthly salaries and other allowances from the whole of 2015 and such other months until the date the judgment was enforced.