His Lordship, Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado of the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has declared the purported termination of Mr. Abayomi Ipaye from the National Open University as unconstitutional, null and void; ordered for his immediate reinstatement with payment of salaries benefit from July 2017 till date and to be accorded with all rights and privileges as a Principal Executive Officer.
The Court held that Abayomi’s was not given the opportunity by the Governing Council to defend himself as required by the University Act and the Institution did not follow due process in terminating Abayomi’s employment; awarded the cost of N500,000.00 against the University.
From facts, the claimant- Abayomi Ipaye had submitted that he was promoted to Principal Executive Officer, the position he held till the period of his employment termination without being queried neither invited to appear before any disciplinary panel, that his termination was not in accordance with the regulations governing his employment.
In defence, the University maintained that Abayomi’s had instances of misconducts with severally warnings and Queries, some of which queries he deliberately refused to respond to, that his employment termination was in accordance with the rules and regulations governing his employment and in line with the University act, urged the Court to dismiss the case in its entirety.
In reply, the Abayomi’s Counsel also submitted that his client was not on probation to be given salary in lieu of notice and was not even aware of any allegation of misconduct brought against him that the Institution acted without due course to the provisions of the University Act, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
After listening to the submissions of both parties, delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado held that the appropriate organ of the University that has the power to terminate the appointment of the claimant was not the one that terminated the appointment.
“In other words, where the law provides for the mode or method to be followed in doing an act, that mode, and no other, must be strictly followed.
“From the content of the DW1T -Request for ratification of the termination and letter of termination, there appears to be confusion and contradiction in that in exhibit DW1T the case against the claimant was stated to be insubordination and gross misconduct. While in the termination letter, it was stated that the claimant’s service was no longer required.
“Therefore, the action of the Governing Council in ratifying the termination of employment of the claimant was done in flagrant violation of section 14 of the National Open University of Nigeria Act and the right of the claimant to be heard and given the opportunity to defend himself on the allegations of insubordination and gross misconduct.” Justice Kado ruled.