Hon. Justice Salisu Danjidda of the Lagos Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court has dismissed the case filed by one Mr. Donatus on alleged wrongful employment dismissal against Benue State University for lacking merit.
The Court held that the allegation of misconduct against Mr. Donatus is within the purview of the University to investigate and the decision of the Benue State University in dismissing Mr. Donatus cannot be faulted.
From facts, the claimant- Mr. Donatus had submitted that the process that led to his dismissal from service was done contrary to the principle of natural justice and was not given a fair hearing.
He alleged further that the allegation brought against him is a criminal offence which the Benue State University has no power to investigate without first charging him to court for prosecution and conviction that the composition of the committee that investigated him is illegal, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
In defense, the defendant- Benue State University maintained that Donatus dismissal was done in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations Governing Conditions of Service of Senior Staff of the University.
Learned Counsel to the University, M. T. Assoh Esq. submitted that Mr. Donatus was given a fair hearing before his dismissal, and urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety.
In opposition, the learned Counsel to the Claimant, Ocha P. Ulegede Esq averred that his client was not afforded fair hearing to call his witness in his defense before the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee and the members who made up the council of the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee were short of two members of the Senate, urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Salisu Danjidda held that once the offence committed by the employee is within the domestic jurisdiction of the employer, disciplinary action in such a case can be taken without recourse to a criminal charge.
Justice Danjidda held that it is also clearly shown that on 12/12/2017, Mr. Donatus and the accusers appeared before the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee (SSDC) and the claimant questioned the accusers.
“On the totality of the determination of the issues raised on behalf of the parties and consideration of the facts and circumstances of this case and the events leading to same, I am of the firm view that the decision of the Defendant in dismissing the claimant cannot be faulted hence it is justified.” Justice Danjidda ruled.