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[Entitlement Claim] Industrial Court dismisses Benin Hospital Management Board objection on Jurisdiction for being untenable

319 Wednesday 17th February 2021

The Presiding Judge, Benini Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Adunola Adewemimo has over-ruled the preliminary objection filed by the University Of Benin Teaching Hospital Management Board challenging the jurisdiction of the court over a matter brought by Dr. Kingsley Osarodion for being premature and untenable.

 

The court held that the facts pleaded by Dr. Kingsley constitute inference of an employment relationship, which can only be disproved and delved into after a full trial by the hospital board joining issues to disprove Kingsley assertions.


From fact, the claimant’s had filed the suit against the defendant via complaint and sought a declaration that by the provision of the Medical Residency Training Act, that his entitled to remain in the Residency Training Programme of the Hospital Board for 18 months after he first became eligible to sit for the Part II Fellowship Examination of the West African College of Surgeons. 


Likewise, the sum of N5, 402, 451 (Five Million, Four Hundred and Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-One Naira representing his total salary for the unexpired 10 months left on his Residency Training Programme among others.


In defence, the board counsel, Akhigbe Oserogho Esq filed an objection and sought an order of the court to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction and for not disclosing no reasonable cause of action against the defendant on the grounds that the statement of facts border on the applicability of the Medical Residency Act which came into effect in June 2018, long after the employment relationship between the claimant and the defendant ended, and further that some reliefs are not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court, and the main reliefs which seek to confer benefits on the claimant are academic, hypothetical and of no practical utilitarian value to the claimant.

 

In opposition, the claimant counsel, Emalson Akpotaire Esq posited that the objection lacks factual and legal basis, urged the Court to dismiss same with punitive costs. 


Delivering ruling after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the Presiding Judge, Justice Adunola Adewemimo affirmed the court jurisdiction and held that reliefs sought by Dr. Kingsley reveal that the suit relates to the enforcement of the terms and conditions of service between the parties and the applicability of the Medical Residency Training Act.


“There is no doubt that from the pleadings in this case, particularly paragraphs 13 (a) and 15 of the extant Statement of Facts, the claimant rendered works to the defendant for which he was receiving a regular remuneration, see paragraphs 3, and 23 of the extant statement of facts. 


“Thus I find that the facts pleaded constitutes an inference of an employment relationship, which can only be disproved and delved into after a full trial by the defendant joining issues to disprove the claimant’s assertions.”


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