Polytechnic graduates and other holders of the Higher National Diploma have sued the Federal Government for alleged discrimination in promotion, employment and remuneration against them in the public service.

They filed the suit before the National Industrial Court in Abuja.

The plaintiffs are challenging the alleged discrimination against them in “career progression in public service.”

The plaintiffs in the suit are Garba Bello, Babatunde Samuel, Jubril Kadiri, Christiana Owolabi, Chuba Umechukwu and Fatima Ahmed.

They claimed to be suing for themselves and on behalf of HND holders in public service.

The defendants are the National Council on Establishments, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Attorney General of the Federation.

The plaintiffs are praying for, among others, an order directing the defendants to implement the directives contained in the Government White Paper on the report of the Presidential Committee on the Consolidation of Emoluments in the Public Sector.

In a supporting affidavit, Bello averred that President Olusegun Obasanjo had, in 2004 and 2005, embarked on public sector reform and constituted a committee that addressed the disparities in the public service.

He added that a White Paper Committee was set up in 2007 for the consolidation of public service’ employees’ emoluments, and that in 2008 an Implementation Committee was also set up, which made recommendations.

Bello stated that despite these “recommendations and conclusions, the applicants and other holders of the HND certificates are still being discriminated against and still suffer at the various work places.”

Hearing in the case was stalled on Friday following an application by the counsel for the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, A.K Kamar, seeking time to file a reply.

He said the office of his client was not aware that the case was fixed for hearing on Friday.

Plaintiffs’ lawyer, Nnaemeka Ejiofor, told the court that despite their competence, HND holders in the public service were not allowed to rise beyond Grade Level 14 as against their university graduate counterparts.

He urged the court to grant the case accelerated hearing.

The presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, ordered the defendants to file all necessary processes before the next date and adjourned till September 18 for hearing.

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