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The court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil causes and matters relating to or connected with any labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations and matters arising from workplace, the conditions of service, including health, safety, welfare of labour, employee, worker and matter incidental thereto or connected therewith.

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Industrial Court dismisses alleged wrongful dismissal claim against Unity Bank


1171 Monday 31st October 2022

The Presiding Judge, Calabar Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado has dismissed the case filed by Asuquo Usah against Unity Bank on alleged wrongful dismissal for lacking merit.


The Court ruled that Asuquo has not established any breach of the terms of his employment by the bank, and discountenanced his argument that he cannot be dismissed on an allegation of crime until the charge filed against him is disposed of by the court for lacking merit.


From facts, the claimant- Asuquo Usah had submitted that the Defendant’s disciplinary committee never conducted any investigation and he was not tried for the offenses bordering on misconduct as the bank simply abandoned the matter, and while the same was ongoing, he was served a letter of dismissal without hearing. 


He stated that he has suffered serious monumental embarrassment, financial loss, and psychological trauma on account of the Defendant’s action that he was on leave when the misconduct bothering on criminality he was accused of was committed, sought for N100m as general damages among others.


In defense, the defendant- Unity Bank submitted that the Asuquo’s dismissal was in line with the rules of fair hearing and that the claimant was queried and invited to the staff disciplinary committee meeting in order to afford him the opportunity to be heard. 


Counsel urged the court to also hold that the dismissal of Asuquo while his criminal trial was still pending in court, will not and cannot nullify the dismissal and that the claimant’s summary dismissal was fair and Just in the circumstance.


In opposition, Counsel averred that the submissions of the defense counsel are brilliant, but cannot take the place of concrete evidence on record. Counsel claimed that Asuquo’s dismissal was a nullity on his belief that his client cannot be dismissed while a criminal charge was dangling on his head. 


Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado held that the claimant was duly notified of the allegations against him vide exhibit F, as he was queried and answered the query. 


The Court ruled that Asuquo has not established any breach of the terms of his employment by the defendant, and discountenanced the counsel argument that Asuquo cannot be dismissed by the Bank on an allegation of crime until the charge filed against him is disposed of by the court for lacking merit.


Justice Kado held that Asuquo has failed woefully to prove entitlement to any of the reliefs sought, and stated that the lame excuse of an oath of secrecy given by the claimant for not reporting the allegation of misconduct immediately after he discovered the unbalancing of account was an afterthought. 


“In fact his action in not reporting amounts to dereliction of duty which is misconduct.” Court ruled.


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