Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado of the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has declared the termination of Rita Ienber’s employment as wrongful, ordered the British Nigerian Academy to pay Rita Ienber the sum of N97,818.00 (Ninety Seven Thousand eight Hundred and Eighteen Naira) as three Months’ salary in lieu of notice; N17,000.00 (Seventeen thousand Naira) caution deductions, N72,000.00 (Seventy Two Thousand Naira) unpaid four years leave allowances; N98,983.3k (Ninety-Eight Thousand, nine Hundred and Eight Three Naira, Three Kobo) unremitted pension contribution and the sum of N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) cost of action within 30 days.
The Court held that Rita Ienber purported dismissal was not done in compliance with the conditions of service, as there was no requisite notice of termination given or payment in lieu of notice and no recommendation by the disciplinary committee for termination of Rita Ienber’s employment as provided for by the conditions of service.
From facts, the claimant- Rita Ienber had posited that the British Nigerian Academy never issued her any letter of dismissal but was verbally dismissed by the Principal in clear violation of the terms and conditions of service and was never confronted with any allegation of misconduct or fraud or invited to appear before any panel before her wrongful dismissal.
In defense, the defendant- British Nigerian Academy maintained that the dismissal of the Rita Ienber’s employment was valid and in accordance with laid down procedures, and the dismissal was done in writing; counterclaimed for the total sum of N750,000 being rental value equivalent to the Defendant’s accommodation provided for the claimant between September 2015 to February 2017.
Counsel also argued that an employee who is resident in the School accommodation is not entitled to the rent allowance that Rita Ienber has since September 2015 been receiving double accommodation benefit by living in the Defendant’s accommodation and receiving Rent allowance simultaneously.
In opposition, the learned counsel to the Rita averred that the school acted contrary to the terms and conditions of service regulating the employment relationship of the parties, and urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering the Judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado held that there are no disciplinary measures taken in terms of setting up a disciplinary committee that the action taken cannot be said to be within the purview of dismissal.
Justice Kado affirmed that by virtue of exhibit DWAA, Rita Ienber’s employment was terminated and not dismissed and was not served with any letter of dismissal or termination but she got wind of her dismissal, the same reason she stayed away from work.
The Court held that Rita Ienber’s conditions of service provided that termination shall be on approval of the director or school principal on the recommendation of the disciplinary committee set up to deliberate on the matter.
On counterclaim, the court dismissed the British Nigerian Academy claim for lacking merit.
Read the full judgment.