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Industrial Court Nullifies Dismissal Of K.V. Ateb From Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Orders Payment Of Salary, Entitlements From 2013 Till Retirement

The Presiding Judge, Abuja Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Edith Agbakoba has nullified the dismissal of MR. K.V. Ateb from  Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Civil Service Commission; ordered reinstatement with payment of all outstanding salaries, benefits, allowances, entitlements from July 2013 till the date of his approved retirement January 2015.

The Court held that Civil Service Commission did not strictly complied with the provisions of the public service rules in dismissing Mr. Ateb as required by law, that the reasons tendered for the dismissal are unfounded.

From facts, the Claimant- Ateb has averred that he was employed on 1st December 1983, and carried out his duties over the years and surprisingly, that on 5th July 2013 and on 17th July 2013 he received letters from the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs and Civil Service Commission informing him that he has been dismissed.

Claimant counsel Niven Momoh Esq submitted that all the allegations levelled against his client are not only false but malicious and simply to victimize him for rightfully demanding for a refund of his out of pocket expenses for the second stage of his medical treatment abroad that was rightly approved by the Civil Service Commission.

In defence, the Civil Service Commission – 2nd defendant stated that the claimant left his duty post without express permission in direct contravention of the public service rules and denied owing for medical expenses that all the provisions of the Public Service Rules pertaining to the dismissal of civil servants were complied with urged the court to dismiss the suit its entirety with substantial costs.

Furthermore, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs – 1st defendant averred that the provisions of the Public Service Rules were duly complied with, that Ateb was duly queried which he responded to in his defence.

The Claimant in reaction to the defence stated that he returned to Moscow shortly after resumption because he saw the approval for him to remain at the post which he did not receive before resuming back to Nigeria and he needed no other approval from the Defendants to return to Moscow as that would have amounted to reapplying for a request that has already been granted that due process was not followed for his removal urged the court to grant the relief sought.

Delivering judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Agbakoba held that the investigation report of the 2nd defendant which is neither signed nor dated has no evidential value in law.

“It is therefore inadmissible in law, and I, therefore, expunge it from the records of the Court as having been wrongly admitted. This is more so because these lapses raised serious doubt about its authenticity especially when its contents are been challenged by the opposing side.

“I am not satisfied that the 1st defendant strictly complied with the provisions of the public service rules in their action dismissing the Claimant as is required by law.

“In this instant case, I find, from the foregoing, that the actions of the defendants and the mode of dismissal adopted by the Defendants in dismissing the Claimant evolved outside the scope of the Public Service Rules and the nature of the Contract of employment existing between the claimant and the defendant and for that reason the purported dismissal of the claimant cannot stand is hereby declared invalid, illegal unlawful, null and void, the law requires that the Claimant be automatically reinstated. I so order.

“In the circumstance of this case, the court would require to be presented with evidence that the defendants had committed to refund this out of the pocket expense. Barring the show of any official approval from the defendants the court is unable to grant these reliefs. These reliefs therefore fail and are refused.”



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