In a heartbreaking turn of events, the legal community in Katsina State mourns the untimely demise of Barrister Alexander Ajodo, Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Funtua Zone. This dedicated lawyer, aged 44, had been at the forefront of a relentless quest for justice on behalf of 238 non-indigenous teachers who were wrongfully terminated by the Aminu Masari administration in 2018. Tragically, Barrister Ajodo succumbed to a sudden and debilitating illness that gripped him for two days, leaving behind a legacy of unwavering commitment to justice.
The Sudden Demise
Barrister Ajodo’s health took a dire turn as he collapsed and was urgently transported to a hospital in Funtua. Despite the valiant efforts of medical professionals to stabilize his condition, it became necessary to transfer him to the Intensive Care Unit of UMC Zahir Hospital in Kabuga, Kano State. Heartbreakingly, he was pronounced dead during the midnight hours of that very same day.
Barr. Isa Haruna, Head of Chambers at A.U.AJODO ESQ., confirmed the tragic news to Vanguard, expressing profound grief and a humble acceptance of the divine will. The legal fraternity, as well as the community of non-indigenous teachers, grieves the loss of a legal luminary who had championed their cause tirelessly.
A Family Left Behind
Barrister Ajodo is survived by his loving wife, Evelyn Ajodo, and together they have three children. His passing has not only left a void in the legal community but has also brought immeasurable sorrow to his family.
The Pursuit of Justice
For over five years, Barrister Ajodo had dedicated his legal expertise to seeking justice for 238 non-indigenous teachers who had been unlawfully dismissed and denied their rightful entitlements by the past Katsina State administration under Aminu Bello Masari. These dedicated educators had initially sought redress from the administration of Governor Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari without success. This dire situation led them to file a case with the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in Kano. Barrister Ajodo had taken up their case, representing them pro bono.
The Ongoing Legal Battle
Despite the tragic loss of their champion, the legal battle for justice continues. The case, which has stretched over five long years, is scheduled for its next hearing on October 3, 2023. The affected non-indigenous teachers, though mourning the loss of Barrister Ajodo, are determined to see their fight for justice through.
However, the journey towards justice has been fraught with challenges, primarily due to the repeated absence of government attorneys during court proceedings. This has led to countless delays in the legal process, further adding to the anguish of the affected teachers.
Voices from the Affected
One of the teachers who has been profoundly impacted by this protracted legal battle shared their sentiments, saying, “Our hearts ache as we reflect on this journey in the last five years. Our hopes for justice are deeply tied to the tireless efforts of Barrister Ajodo. As we approach the next hearing scheduled for October 3, 2023, we do so with heavy hearts, knowing that Ajodo’s voice for justice is now stilled.”
The affected teachers contend that their dismissal blatantly contradicts the contractual procedures outlined in their employment agreements. The state government had employed them through three different strategies: some were hired after completing their National Youth Service, others were recruited from states such as Edo, Kogi, and Benue, while a significant number had applied for teaching positions within the state.
A Legacy Lives On
Barrister Alexander Ajodo may no longer be with us, but his legacy of unwavering commitment to justice lives on in the hearts of those he fought for. The pursuit of justice for the 238 non-indigenous teachers remains an ongoing battle, and the affected individuals continue to hold onto the hope that their voices will be heard.
In conclusion, the legal community and the non-indigenous teachers in Katsina State mourn the loss of a remarkable advocate for justice. Barrister Ajodo’s dedication to their cause, even in the face of adversity, leaves an indelible mark on the pursuit of justice in Nigeria. As the legal battle presses on, those affected are determined to honor his memory by continuing the fight for justice, hopeful that one day, justice will prevail.