Court Awards Former PS One Shilling For Wrongful Dismissal

  • Former Public Service PS Lillian Omollo before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee on May 25, 2018
    Former Public Service PS Lillian Omollo before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee on May 25, 2018
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  • On Thursday, October 22, Justice Stephen Radido ruled that former Youth and Gender Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo to be paid one shilling for unfair dismissal.

    The judge determined that the removal of former PS Omollo from the government's payroll was unconstitutional. He stated that due process ought to have been observed as contemplated under Article 236 of the Constitution.

    “The petitioner was not subjected to due process, nor was she given reasons for the removal from office under the hand of the President. She was ingeniously notified that her tenure had ended because a replacement had been appointed,” Justice Stephen Radido said.

    “The Petitioner is awarded a nominal Ksh1 (one shilling) for the violation of her right to due process. Each party to bear its own costs,” Justice Radido ruled.

    President Kenyatta (left) and Former PS Lilian Omollo (right) at the NYS Textile and Garment Technology Institute.
    President Kenyatta (left) and Former PS Lilian Omollo (right) at the NYS Textile and Garment Technology Institute.
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    "A public officer shall not be either dismissed, removed from office, demoted in rank or otherwise subjected to disciplinary action without due process of law," reads the constitution.

    Such kind of trivial compensations to suspects by a court are referred to as nominal awards. These are awards issued in instances where judges find that they have succeeded, but have not suffered any loss.  

    Omollo, who is currently facing graft charges in the National Youth Service scandal, had sued the government through the Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Public Service and Gender arguing that the case was still ongoing and was entitled to half-pay.

    Justice Radido found the suspect to have unexplained wealth, hence stated that the amount awarded was adequate compensation for the violation of her rights.

    She also sought service gratuity at the rate of 31 percent of the basic remuneration package for the term served and restoration of all her withheld salary and allowances for the years under suspension. Ms Omollo also sought general damages for the breach of her constitutional rights and the right to legitimate expectation.

    Ms Omollo has filed an appeal against the decision of the High Court which found that the more than Ksh33 million she held in various accounts were proceeds of crime.

    The suspect took office of the Principal Secretary for Public Service and Youth in December 2015. In 2018, when she was charged with corruption among other offences, she was notified of her suspension on half-salary pending the finalisation of the criminal charges.

    In May 12, 2020, the Public Service Cabinet Secretary, Professor Margaret Kobia wrote to her that her appointment had expired with the employment of a new PS. She moved to court, seeking among other orders, that the revocation of her appointment be ruled unconstitutional.

    Justice Stephen Radido.
    Justice Stephen Radido.
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