Saturday 8 June 2024


By: Amb. Valentine Adese (JP),

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) had in its Judgment on Suit No: NICN/JOS/47/2013, dated 22nd June 2017, between MR. REUBEN AWANYE ITRUMA vs National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) and its Governing Board, declared that the dismissal of the Claimant (MR. REUBEN AWANYE ITRUMA) cannot stand because the Rules/Procedures of the Institute in relation to dismissal were completely ignored.

This finding was also affirmed by the Court of Appeal, Jos Division in its Judgment delivered on 8th August 2022 in Appeal No: CA/J/276/2018.

The Lower Court in its Judgment delivered by Hon. Justice R. H. Gwandu in part reads:

“Aside the contention about membership and endorsement of findings of the committee, the rules/procedures as enumerated in Exhibit RAI 13 were completely ignored.

“Chapter 10 of Exhibit RAI 13 earlier itemized was apt on what the Respondents ought to do in order to initiate a Disciplinary proceedings against the Claimant (MR. REUBEN AWANYE ITRUMA).

“It is obvious that all these steps and procedures were completely ignored. RW2 (Candida M. Nyelong) admitted the, “Nobody testified before the committee against Mr. Itruma”. Joseph L. Bawul (RW3) consented to the fact that, “I can’t remember if there was any letter of warning issued to the Claimant before the disciplinary action against him”.

“These confessions revealed that the whole exercise (if any) was all done in futility. It is a hurried package aimed at achieving a selfish goal.

“Indeed, if the speed with which the purported Disciplinary Committee handled/mishandled its sitting and findings, were put into ascertaining and properly trailing the whereabouts of the Claimant, it would have yielded better results than the present ill-achieved dismissal.

“I am of the opinion that despite the fact that the Claimant was away from office on an unapproved (Non-documented) journey, the serious energy inserted in dismissing him for absenteeism would have been successfully channeled, if the due procedure/rules were followed.

“For sure, Exhibit RAI 13 particularly Chapter 10, has everything to support the Respondents in achieving the desired result, but, I think the managers of same were ill-advised or better still not in a good position to put same to use.

“Put simply, they were in a hurry. Hear this as sounded by the Supreme Court in IDEREIMA’S CASE (supra) at page 401 paras E-G.

“…I think that everyone in the administrative cadre ought to braze up to attune himself to the correct letters and principles of their calling. It is high time, rules were given their efficacies.

“In the light of the above and to say the least (a lot has been written), I reason that the dismissal of the Claimant (MR. REUBEN AWANYE ITRUMA), cannot stand and is hereby REVERSED…”

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