The court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil causes and matters relating to or connected with any labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations and matters arising from workplace, the conditions of service, including health, safety, welfare of labour, employee, worker and matter incidental thereto or connected therewith.



Industrial Court nullifies dismissal of Gabriel Ogar from Nigerian Prison Service, Orders Minister of Interior to pay Pension from 2010 till date

900 Wednesday 1st June 2022

Hon. Justice Edith Agbakoba of the National Industrial Court, Abuja Judicial Division has declared the dismissal of Gabriel Ogar from the Nigerian Prisons Service via a letter dated 25/01/1991 as illegal, unlawful, null, and void for failure to follow the due process of law.

Justice Agbakoba held that the action of the Nigerian Prison Service in dismissing Gabriel Ogar on alleged misconduct without giving him the opportunity of defending himself constituted a gross violation of the fundamental human right to fair hearing, ordered the Honourable Minister Of Interior, Federal Ministry Of Interior, Nigerian Prisons Service, Controller General of Prisons to pay Mr. Ogar's retirement benefits from 2010 till date.

The Court also ordered the Honourable Minister Of Interior, Federal Ministry Of Interior, Nigerian Prisons Service, Comptroller General of Prisons to render all necessary assistance with the relevant agency such as PTAD and PENCOM to ensure Gabriel Ogar is properly pensioned off.

From facts, the Claimant- Gabriel Ogar had alleged that he was unlawfully dismissed from the services of the Nigerian Prison under the control of the Minister of Interior with effect from 18/12/1991 for alleged misconduct and was never charged to any court nor convicted for the alleged offense nor invited to defend himself.

He submitted further that when he became frustrated by the refusal of the Defendants to recall him back to work and the fact that he had attained the age of retirement, he was forced to write another letter to appeal to the Defendants to convert the said dismissal to retirement and by a letter dated 24/07/2015 his dismissal was converted to retirement with a directive that he retires from the services with effect from 31/12/2010, yet all effort to get pension proved abortive.

However, despite several services of hearing notices duly served on the Defendants they failed to appear in court and no reason was proffered for their absence.

On the 25th of October 2021 Counsel to the Nigerian Prisons Service, Comptroller  General of Prisons adjournment for parties to explore out-of-court settlement were also to no avail.

In addition, the Claimant's learned Counsel, Ekpo Ekpo Esq submitted that the Nigerian Prisons Service and 3 others were given ample opportunities to present their case before the Court, but failed and/or refused to do the needful that the defendants must be bound by the consequence of their decision or acts of omission, urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.

The Court in its well-considered judgment presided by Justice Edith Agbakoba held that the defendants' failure to file a defense does not mean an automatic victory for the Claimant and uncontroverted evidence does not take away the duty imposed on the Claimant to prove his case in accordance with the minimum evidence rule.

Justice Agbakoba held that the procedures adopted by the Nigerian Prisons Service and 3 others in dismissing the claimant were done against the prescribed provisions of the Public Service Rules and that Gabriel Ogar was not given an opportunity to defend himself.

The Court held that Gabriel Ogar's dismissal offends the Natural Justice principles and cannot stand, set aside the letter of dismissal in its entirety.

However, Justice Agbakoba stated that though Gabriel Ogar had reached the age of retirement as his restoration to benefits entitlements and promotion is no longer tenable in the circumstances of the case. 


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