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Industrial court fixes further hearing in N8m suit against UI for April 5


Imran Musa
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Justice John Peter of the National Industrial Court sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday fixed April 5, 2021, for the adoption of final written addresses in a N8 million damage suit filed by an ex-lecturer at the University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Adenike Ogunshe against the institution over allegations of unlawful termination of her appointment.

Ogunshe from the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, dragged the institution and its council before the court, alleging that the institution did not follow due process in terminating her appointment and asked the court to award the cost of N8 million as damages against the institution.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, counsel to the University of Ibadan, Mr Adebayo Ajayi, informed the court that he had communicated to the institution’s management the directive of the court to settle the matter out of court on December 14, 2020, but he was unable to get the cooperation of the claimant’s counsel.

Ajayi came to court with Prof. Oluwole Osunubi (retired) and Prof. Ishola Fashidi, who were appointed by the institution to oversee the settlement and Justice Peter had called the two professors to brief the court on what they noticed while trying to settle the matter.

Osunubi and Fashidi informed the court that they discovered that the UI Department of Microbiology where the claimant worked was not willing to take back the claimant when consulted, adding that the department wants the claimant to apologise and repent before they could take her back.

The claimant’s counsel, Mr Femi Aborisade, told the court that there was an indication that the institution was not willing to settle the matter amicably and was only trying to delay the matter unnecessarily, adding that the institution being the employer does not need to consult the Microbiology Department on their decision on settlement if they were serious with the settlement.

According to him, the University of Ibadan is the one that ought to take a decision on the settlement, not the Microbiology department. He urged the court to allow him to move his application for adoption of the final written address.

Justice John Peters said it was wrong for the Microbiology department to insist not to take the claimant back, adding that they are all employees and no law allows the employee to dictate to the employer, adding that there is the need for the parties to tolerate one another as life is about shifting ground.

“Am still appealing to counsel to find a way to resolve this matter amicably, I don’t see any dispute that is beyond amicable settlement.

Section 20 of the National Industrial Court Act encourages reconciliation and amicable settlement of matters,” the judge said.

The case was then adjourned till April 5 for the adoption of the final written addresses of parties.

It would be recalled that the claimant’s counsel had informed the court that his client’s appointment was unlawfully terminated on June 14, 2016, over alleged misconduct and had urged the court to declare the termination of the appointment of his client as unconstitutional and a violation of her constitutional right to justice and fair hearing.

 

Source: Nigerian Tribune

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