…for failure to appear in court
An Accra High Court has awarded a GH¢ 1000 cost against the National Security Coordinator and the Attorney-General for failing to appear in court to defend a suit brought against them over the non-payment of End-of-Service Benefits for eighty-eight (88) former operatives of the National Security Council (NSC).
The court, presided over by Justice Houenyenugah, Court of Appeal judge, sitting as an additional High Court judge, yesterday awarded the cost after counsel for the applicants, Capt. (Rtd.) Nkrabea Effah-Dartey made a request, and informed the court that the defendants had continuously failed to appear in court ever since the case started.
In their writ of summons, the former National Security operatives, who served during the previous administration, noted that their appointments were terminated for the reason that they were perceived to be political appointees.
However, the defendants have asserted that the appointments of the plaintiffs were terminated because their services were no longer required, and not because they were perceived as political appointees of the previous administration.
The plaintiffs are, therefore, asking the Court to declare that they are entitled to be paid their End-of-Service Benefits upon the termination of their appointment, in accordance to the conditions governing their employment. They are further requesting the court to order the defendants to pay them their End-of-Service Benefits.
The plaintiffs, who were fully employed as regular staff of the National Security Council Secretariat in Accra and across the country, having gone through extensive examination under the Securities and Intelligence Agencies Law of 1996, indicated that following the 2008 general election, which saw a change in the political administration of the country, their appointments were subsequently terminated.
According to them, in partial fulfillment of the conditions governing the termination of appointment, they were each paid three months salary in lieu of notice.
Plaintiffs pointed out that they petitioned the National Security Co-ordinator for the payment of their End-of-Service Benefits, but the petition was ignored, adding that letters from their Solicitors, claiming payment of their End-of-Service Benefits, also yielded no results.
The defendants, in their response, admitted that the plaintiffs were paid three months salary, in lieu of notice of termination, but indicated that the said amount represented the full payment due the plaintiffs in case of disengagement from the Security Council.
The Defendants are of the view that plaintiffs are not entitled to any End-of-Service Benefits as allegedly indicated in their conditions of service, adding that the National Security Co-ordinator was not the proper person to be sued in this matter.
They are, therefore, determined to raise a preliminary-legal point during hearing of the case to indicate that the National Security Co-ordinator was not the proper person or body to be sued in the matter, and further take steps for the name of the National Security Co-ordinator to be struck off the writ.