Abuja----The Hon. President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Benedict Kanyip, PhD has voided the proceedings of the Personnel Management Board which led to the dismissal of Mr. Ebenezer Adetimiro from Service on 2nd July 2015, ordered the Attorney General of Lagos State, Lagos State Civil Service Commission and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to reinstate Adetimiro to his position with due promotional entitlements ordinarily slated for the 1st day of January 2016 with payment of salary and other financial entitlements from 1st December 2014 till date.
Justice Kanyip held that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and others did not adhere strictly to Lagos State Public Service Rules before dismissing Adetimiro from service.
From facts, the claimant- Adetimiro had submitted that his invitation and eventual dismissal were not in compliance with the extant law guiding his employment, devoid of any form of hearing and was never given the opportunity to respond to the Personnel Management Board Panel’s recommendation, that the defendants acted in gross violation of Lagos State Public Service Rules.
The defendants on their part contended that having discovered that Adetimiro was involved in the alleged misconduct, that he was given a fair hearing and due process was duly complied with before dismissing him; as such his dismissal from the service of the Lagos State Government is lawful.
Further that, claimant was queried, appeared before panels and at the end of the investigation, it was discovered that the claimant has not satisfactorily exonerated himself from disciplinary proceedings and subsequently, the recommendation of the disciplinary panel was subsequently forwarded to the Civil Service Commission for ratification and was accordingly dismissed urged the Court to dismiss the claim of the claimant in its entirety.
Delivering Judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Benedict Kanyip, PhD held that the defendants cannot invite the claimant to answer the charge of absenting himself and then turn around and try him for recycling receipts that this fundamentally goes against the requirement of fair hearing.
“I carefully read through the evidence before the Court, what I found is that contrary to Rule 040406 of the Lagos State Public Service Rules 2015, the claimant was invited to appear before the Personnel Management Board (Disciplinary) Senior Staff Committee meeting for absenting himself from duty without permission, but he was tried for recycling receipts, and the claimant was not given access to offending receipts said to be recycled when he was tried.
“I am accordingly satisfied that the defendants did not strictly adhere to Rule 040406 of the Lagos State Public Service Rules 2015 before dismissing the claimant from their service.” Justice Kanyip ruled.
Lastly, on the claimant claim of infringement on the fundamental human rights, the Court said such claim cannot be granted that it relates to false imprisonment, something that was not proved to the satisfaction of the Court.