The National Industrial Court sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday fixed Nov. 14 for report of out-of-court settlement in a case instituted by the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Oyo State Chapter, against Gov. Abiola Ajimobi over alleged N42.3 billion gratuities and pensions arrears.
Justice John Peter fixed the date following after listening to submissions from counsel to the parties.
He advised that the litigation should not be allowed to drag for long, in the interest of the pensioners.
The claimant instituted the case against Ajimobi and five others over unpaid N42.3 billion gratuities and pension arrears of retired primary school teachers and local government workers.
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The other respondents in the suit are Oyo State attorney-general and commissioner for justice, the state commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, the state 0commissioner for finance, the accountant-general and the state head of service.
The claimant’s counsel, Mr Lasun Sanusi (SAN), told the court that the state government had expressed readiness for out-of-court settlement.
“We have filed an application for summary judgment on the basis that the claimant doesn’t have defence.
“The state government initiated a meeting and expressed willingness to settle out of court.
“The action has indicated a measure of seriousness, and we want to be given a chance to explore a possibility of out-of-court settlement,” he said.
Counsel to the respondents, Mrs Bimpe Segun-Olakojo, prayed the court to extend the time within which to file defence in case the out-of-court settlement option would fail.