Justice Stephen Radido of the Employment and Labour Court on Thursday ruled that former Youth and Gender Affairs PS Lilian Omollo’s removal from government’s payroll was unconstitutional.
Omollo was sacked following her alleged involvement in the National Youth Service (NYS) grand theft of Sh791 million.
Justice Radido, therefore, awarded Omollo one shilling as compensation and ordered the government to pay.
In his ruling, he cited the breach of Article 236 of the Constitution by the government in expunging Omollo’s name from the government’s payroll.
“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,” the judge ruled.
He added: “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 maintained that while sacking or demoting a public officer, due process must be followed.
In law, such an amount awarded by the court is known as “nominal awards” which a judge issues upon determination that the complainants have “succeeded but not suffered any loss”.
The former PS has 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.
She also asked the court to grant her gratuity at the rate of 31% of her basic pay for the period she served and also have her full salary and allowances restored.
However, the court ruled that Omollo was found in possession of unexplained wealth thus, the one shilling compensation was commensurate to the violation of her rights.
She has since filed an appeal in a verdict that the court granted the Assets and Recovery Agency to take over Sh33 million found in her bank accounts.
ARA said that Omollo could not explain how she acquired this money. It termed it as proceeds of crime.