The National Industrial Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital has ordered the authority of University of Benin (UNIBEN) to reinstate its Deputy Director of ICT Department for unlawful dismissal from the university’s service in 2013.
The University’s director, Kehinde Samuel, a claimant, approached the court on October 9, 2013 over his wrongful dismissal by the Governing Council of the university on July 18, 2013 without any substantive offence committed.
Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi in her ruling said the dismissal of the claimant from his employment was unlawful and of no effect.
Oyewumi said the purported dismissal was contrary to the rules of Natural Justice and the Laws and Regulations regarding the nature, tenure and discipline of senior staff of the university.
She explained further that the employment of the claimant with the defendant was still subsisting notwithstanding the said dismissal.
According to her, “It is obvious that the claimant’s claims succeed in the most part and for the avoidance of doubt, I declare and order that the dismissal of the claimant by the defendant by a letter dated July 18, 2013 is unlawful and hereby declared null and void.
“The letter is hereby set aside and that the defendant is ordered to reinstate the claimant back to his employment.
“And that the claimant is to be paid all his salaries and allowances from July 18, 2013 till he is reinstated.
“That the claimant should be reinstated and his salary and allowances paid within 30 days of this judgement failing which it is to attract 10 per cent interest per annum,”
Earlier, the claimant’s counsels, Clement Dike with Mrs Laurent Ezezobor had prayed the court to order the university to reinstate their client and pay all his salaries and allowances.
They sought the order of the court for the defendant to pay N52.5 million as exemplary damages for the ‘oppressive’ dismissal of their client which occasioned him and his family hardship and emotional torture.
The defendant’ counsel, Benjamen Ojumah, told the court that the claimant, through his expertise in ICT, engaged in sharp practices.