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Industrial Court dismisses unlawful dismissal claim against Nigerian Air Force

212 Friday 16th July 2021

The Hon. President of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship Hon. Justice Benedict Kanyip, PhD has dismissed the case filed by one Ogiri Henry against the Nigeria Air Force over alleged unlawful dismissal for lacking merit.

Justice Kanyip held that Ogiri Henry has not successfully shown to the Court how his dismissal was wrongful since the terms of his service were not put before the Court. 

From facts, the claimant- Ogiri Henry had submitted that the punishment provided for Armed Forces Act relied on by the Nigerian Air Force for his dismissal is one for a term not exceeding two years imprisonment or any less punishment provided for by the Act that his dismissal was wrongful while vehemently denying the allegations against him. 

In addition, Henry’s tendered the order of the High Court that discharged him of the offence and averred that an accused person cannot be tried twice on the same sets of facts, urged the Court to grant his prayers.

In defense, the Nigerian Air Force submitted that Ogiri Henry was dismissed as a result of grievous misconduct that he not only abandoned his duty post but he equally committed an offence for which he was tried and found guilty of the charge levied against him.

Air Force Counsel, J. A. Adamu Esq averred that Henry was dismissed for a substantial and valid reason, urged the Court to dismiss the claims in the interest of justice.

Delivering the judgment after due consideration to all the processes and submissions of both parties, the Hon. President of the Court, Justice Benedict Kanyip held that Henry failed to show to the Court his terms of service, and how it was breached by the Nigerian Air Force, and has not proved to the satisfaction of the court to warrant granting of any of the reliefs sought.

“The conditions of service is accordingly a sine qua non in any claim for wrongful dismissal or termination; for only the conditions of service can be used to determine the wrongfulness or otherwise of the dismissal or termination. In the instant case, the claimant provided none.”

“I think that the claimant is misconceived in his argument that because he served a prison sentence it is double jeopardy to dismiss him. Employment law had never treated as double jeopardy the dismissal of an employee on grounds of misconduct for which an imprisonment had been imposed." Justice Kanyip

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