The National Industrial Court (NIC) has ordered Kwara State University (KWASU) to pay a former staff member, Dr David Atanda, three months' salary in lieu of notice after terminating his appointment.
During the delivery of judgment, Justice Kiyersohot Damulak dismissed Dr David Atanda's claim of wrongful employment termination against Kwara State University (KWASU), stating that it lacked merit.
Atanda argued that he should have received three months' notice or payment in lieu of notice, as stated in his appointment letter.
Atanda had submitted that his appointment with the University was for a three-year probationary period and that he had been dismissed on October 10, 2016, following a disciplinary committee hearing on alleged misconduct.
He also claimed that he had not been given a fair hearing, as he had not been able to see or hear from the individuals who had made complaints against him.
According to Atanda, this constituted an ultra vires action on the part of the defendant.
He also argued that the senior staff disciplinary committee and the University did not have the authority to investigate the allegations against him.
However, the defendant maintained that the claimant was given an opportunity to be heard and cross-examine those who provided evidence against him.
They also asserted that the University had the power to investigate and punish erring staff members under Section 16 of the Kwara State Law, 2008.
Furthermore, the defendant contended that the claimant was not entitled to any payment in lieu of notice and urged the court to dismiss the case entirely.
After carefully evaluating the submissions of both parties, the court concluded that the claimant's allegation of a lack of fair hearing was not proven or sustainable.
The court conclusively ordered KWASU to calculate and pay Atanda within 21 days and awarded him N200,000 in costs.
Although Atanda had requested reinstatement, the court declined to grant that order, citing his probationary status at the time of his dismissal.
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