Abuja--- His Lordship, Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado of the National Industrial Court, Abuja Judicial Division has nullified the purported dismissal of Shaibu Kareem, and declared that Shaibu employment subsists in the service of National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism with all the rights and privileges; declined the claims for salaries and allowances that has accrued from September, 2015 till judgment's date for lack of proof.
The court held that salary claims are for special damages which have to be specially pleaded, particularized and proved strictly with credible evidence to the satisfaction of the Court as the Court is not entitled to make its own estimate and without such proof, no special damages can be awarded.
From facts, the claimant had submitted that in 2014, he gained admission for a master's degree, wrote to his office National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism for approval and sponsorship but the application was not treated. He stated that he was going to office regularly and punctually, also attends lectures on late Fridays and Saturdays.
Further that on 12/3/2015, he was issued a query letter, without any further notice or panel to enable him to exercise his right of being heard his salary was stopped.
That on 21/5/2015 he was served with an invitation to Senior Staff Management Committee meeting scheduled to take place on 27/5/2015, and nobody was in attendance till the close of work. Further that he wrote a letter to the 3rd defendant informing him that the committee did not sit as per the invitation and no notice of termination was served on him.
In defence, the Defendants stated that claimant failed and neglected to reply to the query given to him and was invited by Senior Management Committee to clear himself of all the allegations but bluntly refused to show up. Based on the defiant act of insubordination, the committee sat and decided on the issue. The Defendants were left with no option but to invoke the provisions of the public service Rules and dismissed him.
The Claimant counsel Adelusi Seun, Esq also contended that claimant was issued with only one query in which his name was wrongly spelt and he had replied to the said query that the Claimant has never absconded from the office that the purported report and the directives are mere fabrications urged the court to so hold.
Counsel to the defendants O. L. Obono, Esq concluded his submission urged the court to decline jurisdiction and strike out 1st – 4th defendants for lack of jurisdiction because they are not juristic person, over whom the court can exercise jurisdiction over and adjudicate.
Delivering Judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado struck out the name of 2nd Defendant- Federal Ministry of Information & Culture from the suit due to lack of legal capacity and further held that if legal personality is not accorded to the National Institute For Hospitality & Tourism and Director General National Institute For Hospitality and Tourism 3rd and 4th defendants, the legal rights of the Claimant's which he alleged to have been breached by the Defendant will be lost thereby occasioning injustice.
"Since In the circumstance, I find and hold that the 3rd and 4th defendant have legal personality, for the purposes of this suit, they can be sued, as to hold otherwise will amount to giving the 3rd and 4th Defendants blanket cheque or license to continue to trample upon the legal rights of others and hide under the umbrella of lack or absence of legal personality.
"Apart from exhibit DM1-4, which took place behind the back of the Claimant and support the Claimant's case on a denial of natural justice by the Defendants. There are other pieces of evidence that goes to show that the whole process was a ruse.
"The Defendant did not show any evidence that the letter of dismissal was served on the Claimant. The law is well settled that date of termination or dismissal takes effect from the date the employee terminated or dismissed was notified of his termination or dismissal.
"The purported ratification and approval of dismissal of the Claimant by the Permanent Secretary are null and void and of no effect. The reason being that it is only the Board of the 3rd Defendant that can approve the dismissal of the Claimant as per Public Service rules."