Industrial Court Dismisses Employment Termination Claim against Arm Pension

Hon. Justice (Prof) Elizabeth Oji of the Lagos Judicial Division has dismissed in its entirety the case filed by one Adedoyin against Arm Pension Ltd on alleged wrongful employment termination for lacking merit.

Justice Oji held that the evidence before the Court shows that Adedoyin had the opportunity to state his position in the course of the investigation before the firm came to the conclusion that was expressed as the reason for his employment termination.

The Court further held that Adedoyin’s employment termination was not wrongful as the firm complied with the contract agreement in the payment of three months’ salary in lieu of notice.

From facts, the Claimant- Adedoyin had submitted that his employment was terminated without just cause and not in line with the company’s condition of service.

He averred that he was coerced and intimidated to resign for no justified reasons, and despite several letters of complaint to the National Pension Commission all to no avail, urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.

In defense, the defendant- Arm Pension Ltd maintained that Adedoyin’s termination was carried out in line with the terms and conditions of employment and was paid three (3) months’ salary in lieu of notice.

The firm stated that the management invited Adedoyin for a meeting wherein the issues surrounding the decision to terminate his employment were discussed, maintained that the termination of Adedoyin was lawful as all his entitlements were paid, urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety.

In opposition, the claimant’s counsel asserted that his client was not given a fair hearing in the process leading to the termination of his employment, and argued that Adedoyin’s employment is governed by the Company’s Employees’ Policy and not by the Financial Sector Policy.

Delivering the judgment after careful analysis of the submissions of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Elizabeth Oji held that Adedoyin did not point the Court to the provision of his contract violated in relation to the termination of his appointment.

“The above communication from the Claimant to the National Pension Commission, dated 15th April 2016 convinces me that the Claimant had the opportunity to state his position in the course of the investigation. This meets the requirement of fair hearing in a purely master and servant relationship such as existed between the parties in this suit.

“The Claimant has not alleged a breach of this provision. Exhibit C20 – the Termination of Employment letter duly paid the Claimant what would be taken to amount to three months’ salary in lieu of notice. I say this because the Claimant while acknowledging receipt of this payment, though paid without his consent, did not state that it did not represent his three months’ salary.” Justice Elizabeth Oji ruled.

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