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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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Contract of Employment not Subject to Limitation Laws -Industrial Court Rules


889 Monday 13th May 2024

Hon. Justice Sanda Yelwa of the Lagos Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court has dismissed the application filed by United Bank for Africa challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the suit filed by one Ndidiamaka Umeh for lacking merit.


The Court held that labour jurisprudence is fast developing that the suit as it is constituted is not statute-barred by virtue of the time and circumstances of its filing and the court is competent to hear same.


From facts, the applicant- United Bank for Africa had sought an order of the court striking out the suit on the ground that the suit is statute-barred and Ndidiamaka lacks the Right of action to institute the suit.


Learned Counsel submitted that Ndidiamaka’s action was filed out of time against the stipulated period allowed by the Limitation Law of Lagos State and has consequently robbed the Honorable Court of the jurisdiction to entertain same. 


In defence, the respondent- Ndidiamaka Umeh averred that the court has made a radical departure from this age-long law that the UBA relied upon when it held that contracts of service were no longer subject to Limitation Laws, and urged the court to dismiss the application in the interest of justice.


In a well-considered ruling, the presiding Judge, Justice Sanda Yelwa held that section 8 of the Lagos State Limitation Law just like section 2 of the Public Officers Protection Act shall not apply to defeat the case at hand. 


The Court ruled that suits that are within the context of contract of employment/service are not subject to limitation laws in terms of instituting an action in court.


“From my analysis above I have no hesitation to hold that this suit as it is constituted is not statute-barred by virtue of the time and circumstances of its filing. It is not statute barred and this court is competent to hear same. Accordingly, the preliminary objection lacks merit and same is hereby dismissed.” Justice Yelwa ruled.

 

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