Teachers in the employ of Edo State Government on Tuesday sued the government at National Industrial Court (NIC) in Akure over its plan to conduct a competency test for them.
Joined as defendants in the suit are Edo State Ministry of Basic Education; Edo State Ministry of Secondary Technical and Tertiary Education and the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board.
Others are the State Post-Primary Education Board, Board for Vocational and Technical Education; Chairman of Edo State Teachers Assessment Test Committee and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state.
The teachers, in the suit filed under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), are among others, contending that they are statutory employees.
They said that based on their status, their employment could not be determined by the state government on the basis of competency test without recourse to relevant Civil Service Rules governing their employment.
In the suit filed by their counsel, James Abah, the teachers are praying for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from terminating their employments.
They said their employments could only be terminated in accordance with a procedure in compliance with the Edo State of Nigeria Civil Service Rule (revised to 1st of January, 2006) which governs their employment.
They also said that the regulation as to the competence and standards of knowledge attainable for teachers to practise as such and be employed as such was the exclusive function of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).
Similarly, secondary school teachers in the state have equally dragged the state government to the same court over the proposed assessment test.
They said only TRCN could determine the standard of knowledge and skill to be attained by teachers in the country.
They also prayed the court for an order restraining the defendants from taking any step or doing anything inconsistent with their employment by withholding their salaries and or any of their entitlements.
They are seeking an order restraining the government from terminating their appointments based on the proposed test.