The Presiding Judge, Ibadan Judicial Division of National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Dele Peters has set aside the suspension and dismissal of Mrs. Oluwaseyi Sanni dated 2017 and 2018 respectively; ordered her immediate reinstatement to her post and duties without any loss of seniority and other perquisites of office.
The Court directed the Oyo State Water Corporation to pay Mrs. Oluwaseyi Sanni all her accrued salaries, allowances and other emoluments effective from 16th June 2017 till date.
Justice Dele Peters held that the steps taken by the Oyo State Government, Its Attorney-General and Water Corporation and the procedure adopted in dismissing Mrs. Sanni fell short of the established disciplinary procedure as provided in the civil service rules.
From facts, the Claimant- Mrs. Oluwaseyi Sanni had submitted that her dismissal from the service of the Defendants was done without complying with the laid down procedure as she was denied hearing on the allegation for which she was dismissed from service.
In defense, the defendants- Oyo State Government, Its Attorney-General and Water Corporation maintained that Mrs. Sanni was issued a query and appeared before an Investigative Panel where she was afforded the opportunity to defend herself on the allegations against her and that the Civil Service Commission considered and approved the recommendations for her dismissal and counter-claimed for an order of Court for the payment of the sum of Fifty Four Million, Three Hundred and Twenty-One Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Naira (=N=54,321,550.00) which is the cost of the missing items among others.
The defendants’ counsel submitted that where an appointment of a civil servant is terminated in accordance with the Civil Service Rules, the civil servant has no valid cause of action against the terminating authority or body, and urged the Court to dismiss the case in its entirety.
In opposition, Mrs. Sanni counsel, Ranti Ajeleti Esq submitted that the query issued to her client was on allegation of fraud but found guilty of negligence, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought in the interest of justice.
Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submissions of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Dele Peters held that employment with statutory backing must be terminated in the way and manner prescribed by the statute, and any other manner of termination inconsistent with the relevant statute is null and void and of no effect.
Justice Dele Peters held that Mrs Sanni’s employment was NOT properly and lawfully determined as the Oyo State Government, Its Attorney-General and Water Corporation did not comply with the established disciplinary procedure.
Justice Peters stated that Mrs Sanni was neither accused of nor queried on the allegation of looting nor afforded a hearing on same being the basis of her eventual dismissal from service.
Lastly, the Court dismissed the defendant’s counter-claims for lacking merit.