The Presiding Judge, Akure Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice K. D. Damulak has declared the purported rank reduction letter issued by RUFUS GIWA POLYTECHNIC to retired Mr. Babatunde Olawale from Chief Executive Officer to Principal Executive Officer as illegal, unlawful, null and void.
The Court held that nothing on record from the fact of the case that the claimant was being disciplined for any alleged wrong to warrant being demoted.
From facts, claimant-Olawale stated that he was appointed by the Institution on the 1st October 1980 and rose through the ranks to chief executive officer in 2015. That on the 24th October 2018, he voluntarily retired vide a letter to the defendant which was approved.
That to his utmost dismay, he received a letter on January 2019 reducing his rank from Chief Executive Officer CONTEDISS 14 Step 3 to Principal Executive Officer 1 CONTEDISS 11 Step 3 which invariably has reduced his monthly pay pack as a retired staff.
However, the Institution entered their memorandum of appearance and never filed any process in defence of the case, the case was adjourned for hearing and no counsel appeared for the defendants and no letter to explain absence of counsel.
Delivering judgment, the trial Judge, Hon. Justice Damulak held that nothing on record from the fact of the case that the claimant was being disciplined for any alleged wrong to warrant being demoted.
“Moreover, it is clear that the purported demotion was done in retrospect, that is, the demotion letter dated 25/1/2019 was stated to be with effect from 19th September 2018.
“Therefore, having carefully considered the processes filed by the Claimant and the documents tendered in prove of his case, I find that the evidence of the claimant is unchallenged, it is admissible in law, the evidence is in line with the pleaded facts. The claimant’s evidence is credible and cogent enough to sustain the claim of the claimant and I am compelled to believe and act on his evidence.
“The Claimant is hereby restored to Chief Executive Officer CONTEDISS 14 Step 3, which is the last rank of the Claimant before his voluntary retirement.” Justice Damulak Ruled.