Industrial Court dismisses Don’s reinstatement claim against Kwara State University
The Presiding Judge, Akure Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Kiyersohot Damulak has dismissed the allegation of wrongful employment termination filed by Dr. David Atanda against Kwara State University for lacking merit.
However, the Court ordered the defendant to calculate and pay Dr. David Atanda three months’ salary in lieu of notice within 21 days with the sum of N200,000.00 as cost.
From facts, the claimant- Dr. David Atanda had submitted that his appointment with the Kwara State University was for a three-year probationary period and, he faced a Disciplinary committee on alleged misconduct after which his appointment was terminated on 10/10/2016.
Dr. Atanda further averred that the defendant acted ultra vires its powers, that he was not accorded fair hearing and was not given the opportunity to see or hear from the people that allegedly made reports or complaints against him, and had no opportunity to question or cross-examine the purported allegers.
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Counsel to Dr. Atanda submitted that by the letter of appointment, his client ought to be given either 3 months-notice of the job termination or payment in lieu of the notice and the senior staff disciplinary committee and the University itself lacks the power to investigate the allegation levelled against him.
In defense, the defendant- Kwara State University maintained that Dr. Atanda was afforded an opportunity to be heard and as well cross-examined those that gave evidence against him and that it followed the laid down procedure as provided by the University Law.
The learned counsel to the University averred that by section 16 of the Kwara State Law, 2008 (Kwara State University Law, 2008), the University can investigate and punish any of its erring staff, and Dr. Atanda is not entitled to any payments or payment in lieu of notice, urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety.
Delivering judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Kiyersohot Damulak held that Dr. Atanda’s allegation of want of fair hearing is not proven and not sustainable.
On reinstatement claim, the court ruled that the termination of Dr. Atanda’s appointment was during the period of his probation and not entitled to such order, ordered the Kwara State University Law to calculate and pay Dr. Atanda three months’ salary in lieu of notice within 21 days.