15 April 2014, Enugu – The disengaged staff and pensioners of defunct Nigerian Coal Corporation (NCC) have dragged the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and Nigerian Coal Corporation (NCC) before an Industrial Court sitting in Enugu over an alleged breach in the implementation of the 2003 Monetisation Policy of the federal government by the respondents.
The retirees in Complaint No: NICN/EN/07/2014 filed through their counsel, Sir O.A.U. Onyema, Esq, noted that it was wrong for BPE to sell their residential quarters to other people against the federal government policy on sales of government quarters, which stipulated that genuine worker and occupier should have the right of first refusal.
According to them, the non-offer of the 3rd defendant’s houses to the disengaged staff and retirees of the 3rd defendant at monetised prices up till this moment as was earlier directed by the defendants in the year 2007 and subsequently 2009, is a perversion of justice.
The retirees claimed among other things; “a declaration that the claimants are entitled to the conveyance of title ownership of residential quarters which they legitimately occupy in accordance with the monetisation policy and privatisation labour policy with regards to disposal of government residential quarters.
“A declaration that continuous carving-out and delineating of some portions of the NCC properties and disposing same to the public, without concurrently allocating the residential quarters to the claimants (disengaged staff and retirees) who presently occupy them for them to pay and own in line with monetisation, commercialisation and privatisation policy, amounts to double standard and portends an action in bad faith.
They also prayed the court to declare that any direct or indirect action, occasioned to encourage displacement of any of the claimants from his or her residential quarters, and renting or allocating same to the public, as to occasion denying him or her the benefit of the monetisation policy is illegal and of no effect.
“An order of this honourable court directing the defendants to restore the accommodation of any claimant ejected forcefully, while he/she was awaiting severance benefit, gratuity etc; and monetise same to him/her.
“An order of the court directing the defendant to forthwith, delineate the residential quarters as they are, Survey, allocate to the claimants and perfect their title documents in line with monetisation policy at government rate, as earlier formulated by the defendants.
“A perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, it’s agents, privies or by whatsoever or whomsoever from further incursions into, or sales of the residential properties occupied by the claimants to anybody, except to one of the claimants residing therein”.
They also claimed special and general damages of N4 million against the BPE being the cost of litigation and other administrative appurtenances.
– Christopher Isiguzo, This Day