His Lordship, Hon. Justice Edith Agbakoba of the Abuja judicial of the National Industrial Court has declared the purported employment termination of Mr. Tyolumun Harrison from the Independent National Electoral Commission as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
The court held that INEC adopted a system of disciplinary action contrary to the laid down procedure; ordered the commission to reinstate Mr. Harrison with payment of all his entitlements, salary, rights, remunerations, allowances, benefits without loss of seniority from 2019 till date and thereafter.
From facts, the Claimant- Tyolumun Harrison had submitted that he worked for the commission from 2015 till 2019 when his appointment was allegedly terminated without due process following his ill-health in the course of his employment.
He averred that while he was on the hospital bed, he was communicating with the office and sent Medical Report from the hospital, that the query and termination letters were also not signed by appropriate officers.
In defense, INEC maintained that Harrison failed to report to duty after being redeployed that his employment was lawfully and legally terminated in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the commission Conditions of Service.
In addition, the commission stated that Harrison’s case did not disclose any reasonable cause of action urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety for lacking in merit.
In opposition, the learned Counsel to Mr. Harrisson, S. T. Yenge Esq argued that the commission failed to follow due process in terminating his client appointment urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Edith Agbakoba held that no indication that Mr. Harrison medical situation was investigated and found untrue that the panel appeared to be swayed by the unsubstantiated and unsolicited comment.
“The law requires that the claimant in a labour law disciplinary action be given adequate time and access to materials to respond to his query, the denial of 48 hours in this case I find constitutes a breach of the claimant right to a fair hearing and the practice evolved by the defendant is out of sync with the laid down procedure the claimant is entitled to.” Justice Agbakoba ruled.