Industrial court orders reinstatement of 32 sacked EKSU technologists

The National Industrial Court, sitting Akure, the Ondo State capital has ordered Ekiti State University (EKSU) Ado-Ekiti to reinstate the 32 technologists whose appointments were terminated by the institution in December last year.

The management of the institution had on December 5, 2019, disengaged over 900 of its workforce for alleged certificate forgery, irregular appointment, overage among other sundry allegations.

The presiding judge, Justice K.D Damulak, in the judgement in the suit number NICN/AD/03/2020 whereby the 32 technologists dragged EKSU, EKSU Governing Council and EKSU Vice-Chancellor (first to third defendants respectively) to court, declared the termination of the applicant’s appointment as “unlawful, null and void.”

In the judgment delivered on December 8, which copy was made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, Damulak said: “The claimants are hereby reinstated to their erstwhile positions in EKSU. The first defendant (EKSU) is hereby ordered to pay the claimants (the 32 technologists) their three months’ salaries owed them before their unlawful disengagement.

“The first defendant (EKSU) is hereby ordered to pay the claimants their salaries, emoluments and allowance and from the date of their unlawful termination till reinstatement today 8th December 2020 and subsequently till retirement.

“The employment of the claimants with the defendants enjoys the statutory flavour. The employment of the claimants with the defendants is hereby regulated by the defendants’ statute, regulations and the claimant’s letter of employment,” the court ordered.

Although the court said the claimants were not entitled to general damages, it ordered the defendants to pay each claimant cost of N50,000 only.

It ordered, “the salaries and cost up till today 8th December 2020 are to be paid within 30 days of this judgment or the amounts will attract 10 per cent interest per annum.”

The 32 technologists had asked the court to determine whether their employments with EKSU enjoyed statutory protection and whether their disengagement was compatible with their status of employments which enjoyed the statutory flavour.

Among others, they had sought a declaration of the court that their disengagement as staff of EKSU “in the manner it was done was unlawful, irregular, illegal and therefore null and void and of no effect.

“An order for the immediate restoration and reinstatement of the claimants to their offices without loss of salaries, promotions, emoluments and other allowances due to them as staff of the First respondent (EKSU).

“Payment of the claimants’ three months salaries, emoluments and other allowances owed them before the purported and unlawful disengagement,” they requested among others.

But counsel to the university had prayed the court not to grant the request of the 32 technologists, saying they had not been able to establish in the case that their appointments with EKSU were unlawfully determined.

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