By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has summoned the management of Julius Berger over alleged eviction notice it served about 720 workers and their families from various residential camps across the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
A petition, dated June 17, and addressed to the Speaker of the House of Represen-tatives, Yakubu Dogara, was referred to the Uzoma Nkem-Abonta-led committee, after it was laid on the floor of the House during plenary.
The petitioners, who allegedly were unjustly declared redundant via a circular dated June 28, 1999, by Julius Berger, had pleaded for the intervention of the lawmakers, arguing that such action was unjust, since the case was still pending before the Supreme Court.
They noted that the company recently issued quit notices to the workers in contravention of all rulings delivered by a High Court sitting in Abuja.
The workers said: “Despite all the rulings of the High Court and several ones delivered by District Courts in Abuja, that the status quo ante bellum be maintained, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc has again decided to disrupt the peace in Abuja and cause chaos and anarchy by bringing armed policemen and soldiers to threaten us and forcibly served all of us in the company’s quarters a notice termed ‘Notice to servitude tenant of owners’ intention to apply to recover possession,’ dated June 13, 2016.
“The said notice stated that we should vacate and yield possession of our company’s quarters to one Mr. Haha Chinedu, the authorised representative of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, on or before June 22, 2016, if not we would be forcibly ejected.”
Reacting to notices served on his clients, Sekpribo Peters of God’s People Legal Consult, Abuja, said there was a subsisting order of the FCT High Court Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/423/99, restraining Julius Berger Nigeria Plc either by herself or through any other person on her behalf, from ejecting the affected workers, who were declared redundant since 1999 from their official quarters.
While urging the company to respect the Rule of Law, pending determination of the suit before the Supreme Court, Peters said: “A lower court, such as the Magistrate’s Court, cannot give an order that they should vacate that place. Part of the matter is also before the Supreme Court and they are aware.”