The tug of war between Rivers State Government and permenent secretaries at the National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, continued on Thursday.
The government lost in its bid to stop the suit on the ground that it was improper for the claimants to lump their claims together in a single suit.
When the matter resumed on Thursday for hearing, Onyiri appealed to the court to give him time to file a preliminary objection to the suit.
He argued that the matter should not be heard because the suit was an abuse of the court process.
But the court presided over by Justice James Agbadu-Fishim said there was nothing wrong in the claimants coming together in a single suit to advance their interests.
He said the claimants were only required to “particularize” each of their claims in the suit.
This is as the court barred state government from evicting the permanent secretaries, who are claiming they were sacked illegally from their official quarters.
Thus, the court extracted an undertaking from the lawyer to the state government, Mr. Frank Onyiri, that he would advise his clients not to tamper with issues raised in the suit filed by the permanent secretaries pending the determination of the case.
Fourteen permanent secretaries in Rivers dragged the state government to the NIC, protesting their compulsory retirement from the state civil service, saying the exercise was done illegally.
The state’s Attorney-General, the Head of Service of the state, the Rivers State Civil Service Commission, and the Accountant General of Rivers, were also joined in the suit
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has sacked fourteen permanent Secretaries in the State Civil Service, November last year.
A press release from Government House, Port Harcourt had said, Wike “has approved the compulsory retirement of fourteen Permanent Secretaries in the State Civil Service”.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Simeon Nwakaudu listed the Permanent Secretaries as follows: Kadilo-Brown, Somieari Isaac – Harry, Michael West, Nuka Nadum Nwikpasi, Iragunima comfort, Collins Davidson, Otonyetarie Okorie, Asoelu Gayamos Ogo and jumbo Justina.
Others are Kingsley Hart, Austin Orlu, Samuel Egbe, Sam Woka as well as Ngozi Abu.
The statement said the retirement of the listed Permanent Secretaries takes Immediate effect.