Hearing has commenced at the National Industrial Court, Yola Division, in the case between 18 staff of the Taraba Publishing Company Ltd, and the Taraba state government over the non payment of their salaries since September 2014, as well as discrimination on the basis of their states of origin.

The staff claim that while the indigenes were absorbed into the civil service, they were abandoned by the government without any formal disengagement.

In the session presided over by Justice Mustapha Tijani, six witnesses representing the claimants, Counsel to the claimants, Barrister Ayuba Shagaya and representatives of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants were present in court while, the fifth defendant was not represented.

The judge however refused to proceed with the hearing due to the lack of representation of the 5th defendant.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Barrister Ayuba Shagaya, in his submission, said the fifth defendant (Taraba Publishing Company Ltd), could not be traced for service.

The judge however advised that the lawyer should have served the defendant through substituted service and that there was no way he could proceed in the case without the fifth defendant.

He therefore adjourned the case to September 29, 2022, for further proceedings.

Recall that the case first came up for mentioning in October 2021 at the National Industrial Court Jos before Justice P.A Bassi with the suit number: NICN/JOS/12/202, with Hosea Yunana and 17 others as claimants and the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Taraba State government, the Attorney General of Taraba State, Taraba State Commissioner for Information and the Taraba Publishing Company Ltd as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants respectively.

The defendants had earlier requested the National Industrial Court to transfer the case from Jos Division of the court to the Yola Division. But the Lead Counsel to the Claimants, M.Y Saleh SAN and Co., had appealed against the move.

However, the President, National Industrial Court had granted the request of the defendants for the case to be transfered to Yola.