Industrial Court Nullifies Dismissal of Felix Dada, Orders YABATECH to pay Pension, Gratuity for Life
Akure---His Lordship, Hon. Justice Abiola Adewemimo of the National Industrial Court sitting in Akure has declared the dismissal of Dr. Felix Dada as unlawful, null and void, ordered Yaba College of Technology, Yaba and Four others to pay former lecturer pension and gratuities from October 2016 till date and thereafter till his death.
The court held that the purported dismissal of the Claimant after he had validly tendered his voluntary retirement is unlawful and of no effect whatsoever.
The claimant sought against the defendants among others for AN ORDER setting aside the suspension of the salaries of the claimant from the 1st defendant’s employment. Likewise, A DECLARATION that the claimant has validly retired from the defendant’s employment since 30 September 2016.
The case of the claimant is that he was appointed as a senior staff of the 1st defendant and worked for a period over twenty years. In April 2009, the claimant was granted a long-term study leave with pay to study abroad and was later granted an extension from December 2012 till December 2013.
He averred that he was recalled in May 2014 and upon resumption, he was invited to the Investigation Committee of the 1st defendant for alleged violation of the College Study Leave Policy. He stated that the entire ordeal he passed through affected his health and he was constrained to retire from the service of the 1st defendant on the 6th of June, 2016 after giving the requisite notice.
He averred that he later demanded his entitlements without any response from the defendants, but was issued with a letter of dismissal dated 12th April 2017, thereafter.
The claimant finally averred that his dismissal was unlawful, ultra vires and in breach of his right to a fair hearing, urged the court to grant the reliefs claimed.
Defendant averred that they received a report on the credibility of the academic reports of the claimant which led to an investigation and averred that the claimant was properly removed from office due to violation of the Yaba College of Technology leave policy that the suit is malicious, provoking, frivolous, vexatious and same should be dismissed with substantial cost.
The Defendants further alleged that the claimant refused to honour the summons and query and his notice of retirement was a ploy by the claimant to avoid disciplinary action by the defendants due to his insubordination.
Delivering the Judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Abiola Adewemimo expressed thus; “It is clear from the above evidence on record that the Claimant proceeded on leave without approval and was absent from office from December 2015, hence he did not receive all the letters sent to him through his department until the 1st of June, 2016. The suspension of the claimant’s salaries is therefore justifiable as he did not work for the period of which he is claiming, i.e.January 2016 till May 2016.
“Similarly, the reason given by the defendants to accept the voluntary retirement of the claimant is that it is a ploy to escape disciplinary action. This position is however untenable as the claimant exercised his right to retire whilst the defendants slept on theirs.
The court ordered defendants to pay claimant his pension from October 2016 till date of judgment and thereafter till his death.