The crisis rocking the Ebonyi State College of Education Ikwo, has taken a new twist for the worse, as the management of the college has allegedly resorted to summary dismissal of some workers believed to be 'thorns' in its flesh. The management of the college and its workers under the aegis of trade unions have been enmeshed in an unresolved dispute for quite a long time.
The workers are now accusing the management of wrongful and unlawful dismissal. In a petition by one of the workers allegedly dismissed from service, Ogel Abel, addressed to the Chairman Governing Board of the college and former Minister of State for Health, Chief Fidelix Nwankwo, alleged he was dismissed by the management after giving him approval for medical leave.
He said "I was sick and opted for medical treatment after applying for sick-leave which was approved by the management. "When I resumed work after hospitalization, I was not paid my salaries even after several oral appeals. Later, I decided to appeal in writing through my HOD to the Provost on the issue. "My HOD minuted on my letter and forwarded same to the Provost Prof. Silas Omebe who among other things demanded for evidence that I had resumed work. "
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But shockingly, the management without waiting for the evidence served me a dismissal letter the following day without facing any disciplinary committee", he said. Another staff John Nnaji also in a petition addressed to the Chairman, Governing Council of the College, alleged that he was employed on 1st January, 2014 as a driver attached to the Provost of the College Prof. Omebe and that he was dismissed three months after without any reason.
He said,"from the moment I was so deployed, my monthly pay was at the mercy of my boss; the Provost who initially told me that the State Government was no longer able to pay the monthly salaries of the College staff and as such, the staff hence will not be receiving their full salaries at the end of every month until when government meets its obligation fully.
"I accepted the information as the true position. From this moment, the Provost started giving me N5, 000.00, N7, 000.00 every month and some months nothing. "I was shocked out of complacency to discover recently that my salary has been running fully since April, 2014 till date without my account being credited for confirmation". But a statement signed by the Registrar of the college, S. O Nwarisi, the college said the affected workers were dismissed from service for persistent absent from duties.
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