Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Court orders varsity to reinstate sacked lecturer

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The National Industrial Court has ordered the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, to with immediate effect reinstate a lecturer, Dr Saidu Adamu.

The court also ordered that Adamu should be reinstated to his former position as Lecturer I and his salaries, allowances and other entitlements paid.

In addition, the court directed that the payment should count from July, 2015, which was the date of termination and subsequently till his service is lawfully terminated.

Delivering  judgment, Justice Sanusi Kado held that the claimant never appeared before any disciplinary committee.

The judge further stated that neither was the claimant given the opportunity to exculpate himself from the misconduct allegation the termination of his employment was based on.

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He further submitted that the approval of the governing council was based on the memorandum of the Vice-Chancellor and not the report of the disciplinary committee which was never laid before the council.

Kado submitted that all the council did, was to rubber-stamp what the university management committee had done.

The judge said this practice was against the well-established procedure for discipline of academic staff of the university.

He concluded by awarding the sum of N500,000 as cost against the university.

From facts, the claimant had contended that the university relied on the alleged misconduct as the basis for  the unlawful termination of his appointment.

Adamu also averred that he was not informed or notified in writing of any sitting by the staff disciplinary committee, as he ought to have appeared and answered the allegation made against him.

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The defendants- the university and its governing council through its counsel, J. Williams stated that the claimant lost the right to complain against the termination of his employment having done all his clearance and even received his three months salary in lieu.

The defendants equally argued that the claimant was duly notified of the various sittings in respect of the alleged misconduct where he appeared and interacted with the committee.

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The defendants maintained that due process was followed in terminating the claimant’s employment as provided by the regulations governing the conditions of service of senior staff of the university.

Defence also urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety.

Counsel to the claimant, M.V Artsev in response contended that the defendants did not follow the rules and regulations guiding the appointment and termination of appointment of staff in his client’s cadre.

The counsel therefore urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.

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The court on its part after perusal of the counsel submissions held that the the claimant accepting his three months salary in lieu of notice of termination did not amount to acceptance of the invalid and void termination.

The court further held that the termination of claimant’s employment was not done by the governing council as required by the law and the infraction had rendered the claimant’s termination null, void and of no effect.

It stated that this was because it was not done by the authority vested with the power to do so.

Kado in addition held that the university’s management committee that took the decision to terminate the claimant’s employment had no such power or mandate under the university law.

He said that it was only the governing council that was statutorily vested with such power as there was no provisions of the law governing the university empowering the governing council to delegate or abdicate its function. (NAN)

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