The Presiding Judge, Kaduna Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Sinmisola Adeniyi has set aside the letter of termination of the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Idenyi from Ahmadu Bello University, ordered his reinstatement to the position of Assistant Chief Security officer with payment of all arrears of salaries, allowances and other entitlements from June 2018 till date.
The Court held that Ahmadu Bello did not fully comply with the provisions of the University Act in the purported termination, and declared same as unlawful, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
From facts, the Claimant- Ibrahim Idenyi had submitted that the purported termination of his appointment by the Defendants was unlawful that the alleged offences levelled against him was based on an anonymous letter and the Minutes of the meeting of the Council terminating his employment was not signed by the Chairman urged the Court to grant all reliefs sought.
In defence, the University contended that a case of misconduct was established against the Claimant that all the applicable laws and regulations were complied with before the Claimant’s appointment was terminated sought for N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) cost of prosecuting the matter.
The Defendants’ witnesses maintained that the members of the Joint Committee and the Council were constituted in accordance with the Laws and Regulations of the University and further testified that the Claimant was accorded fair hearing before terminating his appointment that the Vice-Chancellor is empowered by the University Law to appoint another person as the Chairman.
In reply, Claimant’s learned counsel, S. J Gani, Esq. submitted that Council may only delegate powers or functions to any such joint committee which it is itself competent to perform.
Delivering the judgment after critical analysis of the submissions of both counsel, the presiding Judge, Justice Sinmisola Adeniyi held that where a statute confers specific power on any person or authority for the performance of certain acts or duty, it is only that person or authority and no other person that is contemplated in the performance of the acts or duty under the relevant law that anything short of this cannot be endorsed by the law.
“The Defendants admitted in Paragraph 18 of the Statement of Defence that the Chairman of the Council did not preside over the meeting of the Joint Committee of Council and Senate on Disciplinary Matters.
“The Council does not have the power to amend the express provision of the composition of its members to substitute the Chairman Council with another member. And I so hold.
“Given that Exhibits D5 and D7, which ought to be signed by the Chairman of Council, are not signed, it has no evidential value whatsoever. The implication of this is that the entire submission of the Defendants that the Council made a decision based on Exhibit D7 cannot be entertained as it is unsubstantiated. I so hold.
“Furthermore, since the termination of appointment was not shown to have fully been made after the observance of all the laid down procedure, the Governing Council lacked the necessary statutory power to proceed as it did to issue Letter of termination of appointment to the Claimant.”