Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is not new to challenges.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is already on his heels regarding what the EFCC describes as suspicious withdrawals of 11 billion naira from the state’s account.
Aside from that, Governor Wike announced his decision to stop payment of salaries of primary and secondary schools’ teachers of demonstration schools.
He also added that his government will no longer pay teachers in and other institutions where pupils and students pay school fees.
The teachers, about 260 of them, have dragged him before an Industrial court in Bayelsa State.
The teachers who work with Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, and Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, prayed the court to compel the government to pay their salaries.
The teachers alleged that since the Governor issued the order in February this year, their schools had since stopped payment of their salaries.
Governor Wike’s decision led to the shutting down of and Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori. The other schools are yet to be shut down.
They are being owed an outstanding salary for five months.
The teachers therefore sued the governor, who is the first defendant in suits NICN/YEN/87/2016 for IAUE; NICN/YEN/88/2016 for KSWP and NICN/YEN/89/2016 for RSUST.
The claimants, who prayed the court to declare their appointments valid and subsisting, also joined the Attorney-General of Rivers State (2nd defendant) and their various institutions – RSUST, IAUE and KSWP (3rd defendant) in the suit.
The suit prayed the Industrial court to declare that their claimants are eligible to the payments of their respective salaries, allowances and emoluments.
The suit seeks to reverse Wike’s declaration that the stopped salaries of the teachers is unlawful, null and void.
The government employees urged the court to order the defendants to pay them forthwith the arears of their respective salaries for the months of February, March, April and thereafter.