The Presiding Judge, Ibadan Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Dele Peters has set aside the suspension and nullified the dismissal of one Oludare Ishola from service, and ordered his immediate reinstatement as Chief Commercial Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Rural Development, Oyo State without loss of all accrued benefits, allowances and perquisites of office.
The Court held that there are too many holes in the events leading to the dismissal of Oludare, and no justification for such as all the defendants hurriedly did was to dump on the Court a worthless bundle of papers in the nature of a Report of an Administrative Panel which has no evidential utility but with a questionable date.
Justice Dele Peters ordered the Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Rural Development, its Attorney General, and Civil Service Commission to pay Oludare Ishola the sum of N4,796,553.00 outstanding salaries from April 2018 to the date of this Judgment (53 months).
From facts, the claimant- Oludare Ishola had submitted that he was suspended from office for 2 months pending the determination of the case on alleged misconduct by the Administrative Panel of Enquiry and the Police; that he remained suspended for over a period of 13 months as of May 2019 contrary to the Civil Service Commission Regulations, Laws of Oyo State and he was allegedly dismissed by a letter dated 25th June 2019 and has suffered untold hardship by the unlawful suspension from office above the mandatory period of 2 months, urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.
In defense, the defendants- Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Rural Development, its Attorney General, and the Civil Service Commission maintained that the appointment of Oludare Ishola was properly determined in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Commission Regulation of Oyo State, that the suspension and the sittings of the Administrative Panel did not exceed 2 months as stipulated in the Civil Service Commission Regulation and all efforts made by Oludare to dispute the allegations against him were futile.
Counsel to the defendants, Dr. T. A. Dairo Esq averred that Oludare admitted to the commission of the misconduct on which the allegation is founded when he appeared before the Administrative Panel, urged the court to dismiss the case.
In opposition, the claimant's counsel, Olakunle Nathan-Marsh Esq and Emmanuel Adeosun Esq submitted that the Police investigation did not find their client involvement in any financial impropriety relating to the allegation of misconduct, and the defendants refused to produce the report, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought in the interest of justice.
Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Dele Peters held that the Report of the Administrative Panel of Enquiry tendered by the defendant did not meet the requirement of certification as required by law.
The Court further held that there are too many holes in the events leading to the dismissal of the Claimant as all the Defendants hurriedly did was to dump on the Court a worthless bundle of papers in the nature of a Report of an Administrative Panel which Report has no evidential utility but with a questionable date.
“The allegation of financial impropriety against him was in the sales of fertilizer at Ibadan Warehouse yet he was dismissed for financial impropriety in the sales of fertilizer at Igboora Warehouse. Ibadan and Igboora are certainly 2 separate and different places.
“Was the Claimant in charge of both locations at the same time? Was he supervising the sales of fertilizers in both locations? Did the Claimant have custody and control of fertilizers supplied to both locations at the relevant time? These are critical questions which the Defendants left hanging and unanswered.” Justice Peters