Entitlement Claim: Industrial Court dismisses suit against Minster of Health for Lacking Merit

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Abuja—The Ag. President of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Benedict Kanyip has dismissed the suit filed by Dr Kenneth Madiebo against Hon. Minister of Health and 3 others for lacking merit.

The claimant averred that by a letter dated 10th September 2012, he was appointed as a Project Officer by the defendants and posted to work with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on a monthly salary of $2,500 US Dollars.

Thereafter, that he was engaged in the fight against the dreaded ebola virus and despite giving his best to battle the virus, the defendants stopped paying his monthly salaries and have been owing him for over 32 months.

He opined that failure and refusal of the defendants to pay his monthly salary amounts to a breach of a fundamental term of the contract of employment and also that the 20% monthly deductions from his monthly salaries by informal proxies of the defendants under the guise of ‘tax’ without providing proof of same are illegal, unjustifiable and fraudulent.

The claimant pointed out that the defendants refused to call evidence to defend the suit despite the service of all court processes including hearing notices on them, urged the court to grant his relief.

Delivering the Judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Kanyip held that claimant cannot assume that he is entitled to automatic judgment just because the other party did not adduce evidence before the trial court.

On the claim for salary, Justice Kanyip maintained that claims for special damages must be particularized and strictly proved that claimant claimed for salary and presented a document that only gave him allowance dominated in USD but to be paid in Naira, that the claimant did not plead neither did he indicate dollar exchange rate to naira.

In all, the court ruled that claimant cannot thereby be said to have strictly proved his claim for salary and dismissed the suit for lack of proof.

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