Sun. Apr 5th, 2020

Petroleum Taskforce Member sues A’Ibom State Government

Demands over 12 Million Naira compensation

The Akwa Ibom State Government, Attorney General/ Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko; Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem; and SSA to the Governor on Petroleum Matters, Mr. Victor Etefia, are currently standing trial at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Uyo, over alleged nonpayment of entitlements to a certain Comrade Ekong Atai.

The suit dated, 17th January, 2020, is registered, NICN/UY/05/2020.

Comrade Atai, a member of the Petroleum Products Monitoring Committee, is aggrieved because the state government has failed to pay his 58 months allowances and salaries totalling 43 months.

The total owed sum is Two Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira.

Atai is also demanding “Ten Million Naira as severance package to be paid to the Claimant by the Defendants in the event of the Defendants considering the appointment of the Claimant to have come to an end.”

He also demands “a declaration that I am still a member of the Taskforce on Petroleum Products Monitoring Committee, Akwa Ibom State, and is entitled to his salaries and allowances for the periods of September

In the petitioner’s Statement on Oath, he disclosed that he was, in May 2014, appointed as member of the Task Force on Petroleum Products Monitoring Committee and a letter of appointment was duly issued.
“I was placed on the monthly salary/allowance of N55,000”, he noted.

He further stated that at the expiration of the Godswill Akpabio led administration in Akwa Ibom State, his services, alongside that of his colleagues in the committee, were retained by the Udom Emmanuel administration.

The petitioner decried that on the 3rd of December, 2019, the governor’s aide on Petroleum Matters, Mr. Victor Etefia, ” sent for me and other members of the Task Force and paid to me the sum of N500,000 only each of us and directed me to cease from coming to work any longer when my appointment has not been terminated or determined.”

He added that Mr. Etefia forcefully retrieved appointment letters from his colleagues.

When contacted, Mr. Etefia said “no one is owing Atai” but, however, acknowledged that he (Atai) has gone to court.

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