The National Industrial Court has ordered the Kwara State University (KWASU), to pay its dismissed staff his three months salary in lieu of notice of the termination of his appointment. The court, in addition, ordered the defendant to calculate, pay the three months’ salary within 21 days and awarded the sum of N200,000 as cost in favour of the claimant.
According to the Guardian, the judge, Justice Kiyersohot Damulak, while delivering judgment, however, dismissed the allegation of wrongful employment termination filed by the claimant, Dr. David Atanda, against the defendant, for lacking merit.
From facts, the claimant submitted that his appointment with the University was for a three-year probationary period. He further averred that he faced a disciplinary committee on alleged misconduct after which his appointment was terminated on Oct. 10, 2016. Atanda also stated that the defendant acted ultra vires, as 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.
He equally said that he was not given the opportunity to question or cross-examine the people that levelled the allegations against him. The claimant, in his submission, added that by his letter of appointment, he ought to have been given either three months notice of the termination or payment in lieu of the notice.
He argued that the senior staff disciplinary committee and the University lacked the power to investigate the allegation levelled against him. In defence, the defendant maintained that the claimant 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 defendant also 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. The school further argued that the claimant was not entitled to any payments or payment in lieu of notice and urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety.
The court, on its part, after evaluating the submissions of both parties and careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, held that the claimant’s allegation of want of fair hearing was not proven and not sustainable. On the reinstatement claim, the court ruled that the termination of Atanda’s appointment was during the period of his probation and was therefore not entitled to such order.
The court concluded by making an order for the University to calculate and pay Atanda three months’ salary in lieu of notice within 21 days.