His Lordship, Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado of the Abuja Judicial division of the National Industrial Court has declared the employment termination of Mr. Nwokoma Daniel as wrongful, awarded the sum of Five Hundred Thousand against Dana Airlines for the cost of action within 30 days.
The Court held that Daniel having not been given the opportunity to respond to allegations which were used as the basis for termination of his employment, that the whole exercise was wrongful and against natural justice.
From facts, claimant’s- Mr. Nwokoma Daniel had submitted that he was suspended by the defendant on the 28th day of February 2013 vide an internal memo for alleged misconduct that he was neither invited nor heard till date of filing the suit that his appointment was terminated without following due process and in denial of fair hearing, that even after handing over all company properties in his custody, the company refused to pay him his final entitlements urged the Court to grant all the reliefs sought.
In defence, the defendant counsel Ogechi Ogbonna Esq averred that the Defendant observed due process in terminating the employment of the claimant and the terminal benefit of the claimant is payable upon the claimant fulfilling his terminal obligation to the Defendant which he refused to do so.
According to counsel, there is evidence before the Honourable Court that Daniel was paid last year as full and final settlement, that claimant failure to withdraw the case amounts to approbating and reprobating and contrary to our law.
In his reply, the claimant counsel Genevieve Anthony Esq averred that the termination of Daniel’s employment was in flagrant disregard for the company laid down procedure urged the Court to hold that the Claimant has proved his case before the court by credible, cogent and reliable evidence and is entitled to the reliefs sought.
Delivering the Judgment, the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado held that where the contract of employment itself provides a procedure for the termination of the employment, the procedure as provided must be complied with to effectively bring the employment to an end.
“However, there is no evidence adduced to show that the claimant was confronted with the allegations that formed the basis of termination and given the opportunity to exculpate himself as required by the doctrine of audialteremparten or what is termed as natural justice.
“There was no evidence before the court to show that there is compliance by the defendant with the doctrine of contemporaneous payment of salary in lieu of notice. This breach alone has made the termination of the employment of the claimant wrongful.
“However, the claimant having admitted receiving payment from the defendant during the pendency of this action, the said payment shall be for the one month salary in lieu of notice.
Lastly, the court awarded the sum of N500,000.00 cost to be paid by the defendant to the claimant within thirty days failing which the judgment sums shall attract 10% interest per annum.