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Industrial Court orders Federal Polytechnic Mubi to immediately reinstate Emmanuel Wahatana

422 Friday 12th November 2021

Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado sitting in Yola Judicial division of the National Industrial Court has declared the procedure adopted by the Federal Polytechnic Mubi in terminating the appointment of one Emmanuel Wahatana as irregular, void, and contrary to the principles of natural justice.


Justice Sanusi Kado nullified the purported termination of Emmanuel’s appointment and ordered for his immediate reinstatement with payment of salaries from the date of termination to date, and subsequently, till his appointment is validly terminated with the sum of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) cost of action.


From facts, the claimant- Emmanuel Wahatana had submitted that he was served with an internal memo requesting him to respond to a report to his involvement in alleged misconduct and later appeared before the Junior Staff Assessment and Promotion Committee to clear some issues.


He added further that he was served with the letter of termination of appointment on the ground that his services were no longer required by the institution which he appealed and also reported to the Public Complaint Commission but all to no avail.


In defense, the defendant- Federal Polytechnic Mubi maintained that Emmanuel’s employment was lawfully and rightly terminated on the ground, contended that the assertion of his learned colleague that Emmanuel was neither given any notice prior to termination of his employment nor paid salary in lieu of notice and any other benefit due to him is not tenable and should be discountenanced, urged the court to dismiss the case.


In opposition, Emmanuel’s counsel, S. G. Udoh, Esq averred that his client has been greatly prejudiced and has suffered continuous damage as a result of alleged unlawful employment termination, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.


Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Sanusi Justice Kado held that by clear provision of the Federal Polytechnic Act, the responsibility to make recommendation to the Rector was on the Junior Staff Appointments and Promotions Committee and not junior staff Assessment and Promotion Committee or the Management Committee or expanded Management Committee as stated in the letter of termination.


Justice Kado held that for any approval of termination by the Rector to be valid, it must be based on the recommendation of the Junior Staff Appointments and Promotions Committee which is the only legally committee recognized by law.


“It makes matters worse as no cogent and verifiable reasons were adduced in Exhibit CW1G for terminating the appointment of the claimant, an employee whose appointment is protected by the provision of section 19 of the Federal Polytechnics Act, 1979, as amended.


“In the circumstances, the termination of claimant’s appointment is not valid having been made in contravention of the law.” Justice Kado ruled.


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