Court orders DSS to reinstate Vincent Amaino, awards N500k Damages

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The Presiding Judge, Yenagoa Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Bashar Alkali has set aside the purported employment termination of one Vincent Amaino from the Department of State Services (DSS) in 2011, ordered his reinstatement with the sum of N500, 000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) as general damages.

 

The Court held that the DSS ought to have waited for the Police to finish with the prosecution of Mr. Vincent, that the dismissal for a criminal allegation prior to the conviction cannot be clothed with legality even though Mr. Vincent can be tried for misconduct while the criminal trial is ongoing.

Justice Alkali ruled that Mr. Vincent’s employment termination cannot stand for being wrongful as there is no evidence that the DSS complied with the provisions of the Public Service Rules.

However, the Court dismissed Vincent’s claim for payment of Salaries and entitlement from the date of dismissal till date for lack of proof.

From facts, the claimant- Vincent Amaino had submitted that he was wrongly arrested alongside 3 other persons on the 13th day of April 2011 for allegedly possessing firearms unlawfully and while the alleged offence was being investigated by the Police, the Department of State Services took him from the custody of the Police and before the Orderly room trial, his warrant card was withdrawn and he was dismissed in a bid to release him to face a criminal charge.


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Vincent added that he was charged along with 3 others in 2011 and was discharged and acquitted of all counts, and all efforts to get reinstatement proved abortive.

In defense, the defendant- Department of State Services filed no defense but relied on the case of the claimant.

Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties and the exhibits tendered, the presiding Judge, Justice Bashar Alkali held that the dismissal of Vincent Amaino from the service of the DSS is unconnected to the allegation of crime in which he was exculpated.

Justice Alkali ruled that Vincent Amaino’s employment with the DSS enjoys statutory flavour, and cannot be brought to an end in disobedience to the Public Service Rules and SSS Regulations.

The Court held that the dismissal of Vincent Amaino is illegal and void for the failure of the DSS to prove the reasons stated in the letter of dismissal.

“The Claimant was alleged to have committed a criminal offence, the criminal allegation against the Claimant by the Nigeria Police Force led to the detention of the Claimant. The Defendants ought to have waited for the police to finish with the prosecution of the Claimant for criminal charges before dismissing the Claimant. Dismissal for a criminal allegation prior to the conviction cannot be clothed with legality even though the claimant can be tried for misconduct while the criminal trial is ongoing.”



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