Civil Servant Fired for Criticising Okonjo-Iweala Returns to Office After 5 Years

The federal government has reinstated Yushau Shuaib, a civil servant who was retired after he wrote a critical piece on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, in 2013.

Shuaib was chief information officer on grade level 14 at the ministry of information before he was forcefully retired.

He had cried out about “lopsided appointments” in the economic sector.

He subsequently sued Okonjo-Iweala, the federal civil service commission (FCSC) and federal ministry of information over the “premature” retirement.

In a November 2017 judgment, David Isele of the National Industrial Court declared the letter retiring Shuaib from service null and void, saying it was in flagrant violation of the civil service rules.

He ordered that the civil servant be reinstated with immediate effect.

He also ordered the federal government to compute and pay within 30 days all salaries, allowances and other emoluments due to Shuaib from June 2013 to the judgment date and interest at the prevailing commercial bank’s rate on his total package.

In a letter signed by S.U. Ewa, director of human resources management and delivered to him on September 17, the ministry informed Shuaib that he had been reinstated into the civil service with immediate effect.

However, Shuaib has expressed excitement regarding the development.

In a statement on Tuesday, he said: 
“It is exactly five years ago when my colleague in the federal ministry of information, M Ibrahim Iro Ma’aji called that he was directed to deliver a shocking letter to me.

“I told him where he could meet me. He felt like crying when he delivered the sad letter of my Compulsory Retirement from the public service in October 2013 which was deliberately backdated to June of the same year.

“The sudden retirement came after my disagreement with the most powerful Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala over an opinion article on lopsided appointments in the economic sector.

“After a five years legal battle and my victory in the court, Hon Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed has directed that I should be reinstated immediately. The letter for the reinstatement was delivered to me yesterday September 17, 2018 again by my colleague Ibrahim Maaji who is full of smile.

“I thank everyone for the goodwill and prayers over these years. I learnt I won’t be deployed or posted to Sambisa Forest, the fear five years ago.”