Aaron Kaase was congratulated by the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) after his victory at the National Industrial Court, in his legal action instituted to reverse his reprisal victimization for exposing corruption involving the current Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro, and others.

The National Industrial Court NIC sitting in Abuja has ordered the Police Service Commission to immediately recall and reinstate Kaase back to work.

Justice R.B. Hastrup in a ten-page judgment held that Kaase was denied a promised constitutional right to a fair hearing by the Police Service Commission, where they did not follow the laid down disciplinary procedures enunciated in the Public Service Rules before capriciously suspending Kaase indefinitely from work with no pay. 

Justice Hastrup, therefore, set aside the suspension as null and void and of no effect. She directed the Police Service Commission to reinstate Mr. Kaase back to work immediately to resume his normal duties and pay him all his emoluments and entitlements accruable to him during the period of his suspension.

"I need to reiterate here again that the employment, in this case, is a statutory one, and the Public Service Rules which govern the employment, in this case, are made pursuant to powers conferred by the constitution," she said. 

"The rules, therefore, have a constitutional force and they invest the public servant, over whom they prevail a legal status, which places their employment over and above the common law relationship of master and servant; and introduces in such employment, relationship, the vires element of the administrative law. Consequently, any act of discipline of a public servant in the established pensionable cadre, which is not in compliance with the public service rules will be ultra vires, null and void," she added. 

Kenneth Achabo Esq. who led the legal team for Kaase thanked the judge for a well thought out judgment, stating that the judgment is a wake-up call for public servants to be bold enough to expose corrupt elements in the system knowing they have the backing of the judiciary system, in spite of the length of adjudication.

In May 2015, it is recalled that Kaase, who was a senior officer with the Police Service Commission at the time,  petitioned both the ICPC and EFCC alleging fraud of over N275 million against one-time Inspector General of Police and the current Chairman of Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro.

Kaase was suspended indefinitely from work after a fallout of his petition. In the ICPC under Eyo Ita in late 2015, came up with a report on Kaase's petition that directed the PSC to refund N133 million to its recovery account. 

The ICPC stated that they found no criminal infraction on the part of Mr. Okiro, but charged the Emmanual Ibe, the Director Administration, and Finance of PSC before an FCT High Court on a charge of 10 counts of fraud. 

CSNAC petitioned the president and secretary of the government of the federation to demand the reversal of the victimization, but without success. 

This decision of the NIC is considered a major boost in the promotion of whistleblowing and a clear assertion of the rule of law over and above the rule of the corrupt.

Lanre Suraju

Mike Okiro

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