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[Update] Industrial Court orders Ekiti University to reinstate 85 Disengaged staff

303 Wednesday 24th February 2021

The Presiding Judge Akure Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Kiyersohot Damulak has ordered Ekiti State University to immediately reinstate Miss Fajembola Mary and 84 others disengaged staff, with payment of their salaries, emoluments, and allowance from the date of their unlawful termination till date within 30 days.

 

The Court held that the University and its Governing Council did not comply with the provisions of the employment Regulations in disengaging the staff, that the manner the purported termination was done was unlawful, null, and void; ordered the University to pay each of the staff cost of Fifty Thousand Naira Only.

 

From facts, the claimants – Fajembola Mary and 84 others had submitted that they were non-teaching staff that their appointments were terminated on 5th December 2019, without any offence and were not queried and none of them was made to face any disciplinary panel prior to their disengagement that the procedure used to disengage them from service is unknown to their conditions of service.

 

In defence, the University and its governing council maintained that the university could no longer cope with humongous wage bill that they have other overwhelming responsibilities to ensure the sustainability of the university, that the employment of the claimants was terminated in conformity with the governing regulations and the provisions for termination of employment.

 

In reply, claimants counsel, O.O Ayenakin Esq opined that the condition that either party could terminate the appointment by notice does not refer to their category that the disengagement run afoul of the law and unmeritorious, urged the court to grant the relief sought.

Delivering the Judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Kiyersohot Damulak held that the university did not comply with the regulations governing the service of the Senior/Junior staff of the University and that also makes the disengagement null and void.

 

“The implication of all these is that since the claimants’ employment enjoys statutory flavour, the claimants are entitled to an order of reinstatement and any amount owed them before their disengagement and thereafter till retirement and I so order.

 

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