By Glory Abuh-Adejoh
The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Wednesday ordered the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) College of Education, Zuba to reinstate and pay a dismissed lecturer, Aiyede Asishana, his entitlements.
The entitlements as ordered by the court on Wednesday includes arrears of salaries and benefits from April 17, 2015, the day his employment was terminated till date.
The claimant had approached the court to seek redress when the defendant terminated his employment based on allegation of suppression of records.
In her judgment, Justice Rakiya Haastrup, declared that the termination of the claimant’s employment by the defendant was illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional null and void of no effect.
” The claimant herein has pleaded and exhibited his employment letter which also contains his terms and conditions of employment, which is the bedrock of his claim.
“The claimant equally pleaded that the defendant breached the provisions of Rule 030302 and 030304 of Public Service Rules (PSR) 2009, as disciplinary procedures as laid down were not followed in terminating the claimant’s employment”‘ the judge held.
She further said there was no evidence presented by the defendant that the claimant was either suspended or interdicted, neither was any evidence that he appeared before the disciplinary committee that recommended the termination of his appointment.
Haastrup also ordered the defendant to reinstate the claimant, with all his rights, privileges and without any loss of promotion in office.
She further ordered the payment of the claimant’s arrears of salaries and benefits from April 17, 2015 till date.
The judge equally awarded the sum of N200, 000 in favour of the claimant as cost of prosecuting the suit.
Christopher Oshomegie, the claimant’s counsel told the court that his client, who was a lecturer with Federal College of Education (Technical),Bichi retired in 1999 and thereafter joined the employment of the defendant as Chief Lecturer in 2001.
Oshomegie said his client who was 44 years at the time was still within the employment age and he had not been paid any gratuity from his last employer.
He said this therefore eliminated the possibility that the claimant was attempting to defraud the system by accepting a fresh pensionable appointment having retired from the services of his former employer.
The defence counsel, Yahaya Abubakar however, in his submission said the defendant discovered during a verification exercise that some vital documents were missing from the claimant’s file.
Abubakar further said that the claimant was instructed to make the missing documents available from his former employer in order to facilitate the merger of his record of service.
The counsel said it was at this point it was discovered that the claimant who had accepted a fresh pensionable appointment, had earlier retired from his former employer.
According to Abubakar this ” negates the provisions of the Public Service Rules 030402 (a) and (w)”.
Abubakar further averred that the termination of the claimant’s employment followed due process as he was queried and Staff disciplinary committee indicted him.
He said the Committee also recommended his dismissal for suppressing, concealing and mispresenting material facts from the knowledge of the defendant before his appointment.
Joined as co-defendants in the suit were the Minister of FCT, Ministry of FCT and Education Secretary of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) (NAN)