By Staff Writer
The National Service Secretariat has been dragged again to the Accra High Court by another set of dismissed staff, John Awuni Ndebugri and Edwin K. Afetsi, one of the volunteers of the secretariat, who were employed by the board of the NSS in November 2016.
This is coming to add to the already suit against the NSS filed by some 86 staff challenging their alleged illegal dismissals.
In the suit filed on 26th February, 2018, Suit No. IL/0025/2018, the plaintiffs averred that until February, 2017, they were district directors of the secretariat in the Aowin district and the New Juaben Municipality respectively before the NSS withdrew their appointments on the alleged advice of the Minister of Education and a supposed petition filed by the former administrator of the secretariat, Mr. Simon McKandamah.
They claimed they responded to an advert for vacancies at the secretariat on its website which also appeared in the 10th October, 2016 issue of the Daily Graphic newspaper and applied electronically for the positions as directed.
They further claim that they were invited for interview by emails which they attended in the early days of November, 2016 and were offered appointments on 12th December, 2016.
As directed by their appointment, they proceeded to their various stations and worked until the 7th February, 2017 when the management of the secretariat issued a press release communicating their dismissal to the public.
According to them, they were later informed by their respective Regional Directors that their appointments have been withdrawn and are required to vacate their post on the orders of the Ag. Executive Director, Ussif Mustapha.
The two are seeking various reliefs including a declaration by the court that the letters and press release on their dismissal in February, 2017 are null and void; a perpetual injunction restraining the NSS from replacing them with others; an order reinstating them to their lawful positions; payment of all salary arrears from the date of their appointments till the day of final determination of the suit and general and punitive damages for the purported unlawful withdrawal of their employment.
It will be recalled the NSS in rather strange circumstances dismissed some 205 staffs employed by the secretariat in 2016. This was immediately after the Deputy Executive Director of the Secretariat, Henry Nana Boakye, said on Metro TV that it was not prudent for the management to embark on that exercise when the board of the scheme that employs had not been reconstituted yet.
The chairperson of the Public Services Commission (PSC), Mrs. Bridget Katsriku, also publicly criticized the NSS for engaging in an unlawful act for refusing to consult her outfit before going ahead to force the staff out.
The dismissed staff who were already up in arms against the former administrator, Simon McKandamah, who orchestrated the whole charade for his evil parochial interest threatened to sue the secretariat. They were not taken seriously and were challenged to go to court by the management. They valiantly responded when 86 of them went to court to challenge the decision.
The case has dragged on for almost a year now. The latest suit involving one of the over 30 volunteers who were also employed will be interesting especially when it emerged Simon McKandamah misled the new management to believe no volunteer was employed. Sources say Mr. Simon McKandamah himself is a long-time recruitment cartel in the NSS who has been doing his own things over the years. During the last recruitment he was not allowed to fix people he allegedly took bribe from. This was the source of his bitterness hence his war against the innocent employees.
We are picking signals that many more suits are in the pipeline by some other dismissed staff who are yet to challenge their dismissal.