An industrial court sitting in Abuja has declared as null and void the dismissal of A.S.H. Sa’ad, a brigadier general. It was gathered that Sa’ad was dismissed alongside 37 other officers in June 2016, without recourse to the rules of disengagement in the Nigerian military. In his judgement on Tuesday, December 7, judge Benedict Kanyip, ordered the Nigerian Army to reinstate Sa’ad. However, the reinstatement cannot be granted beyond 2019 when he was supposed to have attained 35 years of service. Kanyip also stated that the brigadier general had proved he was wrongfully dismissed, adding that in the eyes of the law, the claimant was never compulsorily retired because the army failed to prove Sa’ad did any wrong.
The judge said: “The retirement of the claimant dated 9th June 2016 is in contravention of the armed forces act and condition of service is null and void. “The defendant shall reinstate the claimant as a brigadier general of the Nigerian Army up to 2019. Be paid his salary from the date of his sack to the date he ought to have retired in 2019.” Sa’ad’s request to be promoted to the rank of major general just like his peers until they retired in 2019 was denied by the court. In an earlier interventions of the Attorney-General of the Federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, 9 major generals and 7 brigadier generals sacked by the army in 2016, were technically eased out of the service.
The affected personnel cannot be reinstated into the military, even after the resolutions of the National Assembly and several court orders. The officers include Major Generals F. O. Alli, E.J. Atewe, I.N. Ijioma, L.C. Ilo, T.C. Ude, L. Wiwa, S.D. Aliyu, M.Y. Ibrahim and O. Ejemai. Others were D. M. Onoyeiveta, A.S.O. Mormoni-Bashir, A.S.H Sa’ad, L.M. Bello, K.A. Essien, B. A. Fiboinumama and I. M. Lawson.
Earlier,an ECOWAS court in Abuja ordered the federal government to pay the entitlements of 244 soldiers who were dismissed from the Nigerian Army in 2016. The Nigerian government had dismissed the soldiers after accusing them of abandoning the Boko Haram insurgency fight. The soldiers challenged the matter before the ECOWAS court and on May 15, 2019, the court faulted the decision of the Nigerian Army to dismiss the soldiers.