Court declares Dismissal Wrongful, orders Microfinance Bank to pay 3-month salary in lieu within 30 days

Ibadan—His Lordship, Hon. Justice F. I. Kola-Olalere of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, sitting in Ibadan has declared the dismissal of Mr. Ganiyu Salami employment by Aiyepe Microfinance Bank Ltd. as wrongful, ordered defendant to pay 3 months’ salary in lieu within 30 days and dismissed other claims for lacking merit.

 

The court held that Aiyepe Terms and Conditions of Service tendered by the Mr. Ganiyu has no citation, unsigned and undated that has no evidential value in law.

 

From facts, the Claimant – Mr. Ganiyu instituted the action against defendant – Aiyepe Microfinance Bank, prayed for a declaration that the suspension and summary dismissal of the claimant from the employment of the defendant is unfair, unlawful and illegal.

Likewise, An order directing the defendant to reinstate the claimant into the employment of the defendant and place him on the level which he would have been, had the defendant not unlawfully and unjustly summarily dismissed him, and the sum of Ten Million Naira being compensation/damages for the unlawful and unjust summary dismissal among others.

The case of the claimant is that he was a former employee of the defendant for over 20 years before his alleged unlawful summary dismissal. He pleaded further that the defendant unlawfully and wrongfully terminated his employment by a letter on January 27, 2016 and was not given any query or asked to appear before any disciplinary committee, neither was he given a warning or suspension by the defendant prior to his dismissal as required by the terms and conditions of his contract.

The Defendant pleaded that, the Claimant was not too truthful that there was an avenue open to the Claimant but he failed to take the opportunity by giving satisfactory explanation; however, he could not give any convincing explanation. And so, the claimant was suspended upon the allegations against him and that it was his suspension that led to his termination.

In his final written address, Defendant’s counsel contended that the alleged terms and conditions of service that the claimant front-loaded was yet to be in force, has no citation, no commencement date, no formal copy and was only presented in draft form urged the Court to hold that the suit has no cause of action, lacking in merit and competence.

Counsel concluded that, facts admitted need no further proof and urged the court to dismiss the claim of the claimant for lacking in merit, being frivolous and gold digging.

Delivering the Judgment, the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Kola-Olalere expressed thus “It is trite that an unsigned and undated document is a worthless piece of paper that has no evidential value in law.

“With all my findings on Document C.3, which the claimant presented to this Court as the terms and conditions of his employment with the defendant; I hold that Document C.3 is a worthless piece of paper, without any legal value and that this Court cannot ascribe any weight to it at all. Therefore, this Court cannot rely on it in determining the merit of this case; and so, Document C.3 is accordingly discountenanced in this judgment.

“By paragraph 4 of Document C4, the letter of termination of the claimant’s employment at page 16 of the record, the termination of the claimant’s employment was with immediate effect. In the circumstance, the defendant has not complied with the term of the contract stated in paragraph 6 of the Letter of Appointment since the Bank did not give the claimant three months’ notice neither did it pay him three months’ salary in lieu of the notice prior to the said termination. On this score, I find and hold that the termination of claimant’s employment is wrongful.”

On the whole, the court ordered defendant to pay the claimant three months’ salary in lieu of notice for the termination of his employment with immediate effect within 30 days and dismissed other claims.

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