Some members of staff of the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos State sacked in 2014 for exposing alleged fraud in the institution and reinstated about three months ago have expressed their gratitude to God for their reinstatement.
They were reinstated following a court order.
They said the essence of the thanksgiving reception attended by friends and colleagues was to also appreciate the civil society organisations and media organisations that stood by them during their travails.
The eight workers sacked in the bursary department, including then-bursar, Olu Ibirogba, are chartered accountants.
But Ibirogba had earlier been suspended before his sacking alongside others.
Others are Mopelola Ibitomi, Bamidele Ajinde, Olusola Dada, Temilola Akinwusi, Charles Akharayi and Gbemisola Dada. One of them, Basiru Adedeji, however, died in 2017 prior to the court ruling in 2018.
The National Industrial Court in Lagos in 2018 voided their sacking, ordering that they should be reinstated and be paid their entitlements.
Apart from ordering payment of their reinstatement, the court also awarded N21m in favour of Ibirogba and ordered that he should be reinstated to his position.
While six of them resumed in January, Ibirogba had been reinstated by the court about five months earlier.
At the reception recently held on the school premises to celebrate their “victory”, Ibirogba, who is leader of the group commended the efforts made by the Civil Liberties Organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Centre for the Defence of Human Rights, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders and media organisations to ensure their reinstatement.
He said, “We wrote to many influential Nigerians to help us; some did something and some did not do anything. But we thank God the present administration saw the letters written by CDHR, CLO and others and listened to them. We use this platform to thank our brothers and sisters for assisting us without asking for money. Eight of us were sent away but seven of us are back because we lost one of us in 2017.”
“We thank the government, the college’s Governing Council and Vice-President Prof Yemi Osinbajo. The most important thing is that we have been vindicated. We already have an agreement (with the management) and we are trying to pursue its implementation.”