The Nationwide Industrial Court docket of Nigeria has dismissed the go well with collectively filed by former Managing Director, the Nigeria Social Insurance coverage Belief Fund, Adebayo Somefun and former Govt Director, Operations, Kemi Nelson, difficult their suspension in July 2020.
A press release by Mr Emmanuel Nzomiwup, the Media Officer to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, made this recognized on Thursday in Abuja.
Justice Olufunke Anuwe, who delivered the judgment, dismissed the go well with for having no advantage.
It might be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, performing by way of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, introduced the suspension and the elimination of these discovered wanting.
Somefun and Nelson had gone to the court docket to contest their suspension and consequent elimination.
It’s because the motion not solely violated some provisions of the NSITF Act however equally contravened the President’s directive by way of the Secretary to the Authorities of the Federation that no minister ought to droop or sack any head of an company.
Based on Justice Anuwe, the first to 4th defendants respectively, within the suit-NICN/ABJ/ 185/2020, had been the Minister of Labour and Employment, the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Lawyer Normal of the Federation and the NSITF Board.
“The claimants had requested the court docket to find out whether or not having regards to the Provisions of sections 2, 3, 4,5,6,7 and eight of the NSITF Act.
“That their suspension by the first Defendant (Minister of Labour and Employment) purportedly with the approval of the 2nd Defendant (President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) doesn’t quantity to illegality, usurpation of the Powers of the Board and negation of due means of the regulation.
”The claimants additionally requested the court docket to find out whether or not having regard to sections 2, 3,4,5,6, 7 and eight of the NSITF Act and circumstances of the go well with, the defendant has the powers to droop the Managing Director and Govt Administrators from workplace.
”They equally requested the court docket to find out whether or not by the mixed provisions of sections 6,7 and eight of the NSITF Act and paragraph 3 and 5 of the round with reference quantity SGF/0p/1S3/T/163 issued on Could 19, 2020, the letter dated July 1, 2020, is just not unlawful, null and void.
”That is on the bottom that the Minister of Labour and Employment has no powers to challenge the stated letters and particularly to speak to the claimants the stated resolution of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, suspending them from workplace,’ ‘she stated.
Justice Anuwe additionally stated that the claimants additional requested the court docket to find out whether or not having regard to the mixed provisions of Sections 36 (1) and (2) of the Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered and sections 6 and eight of the NSITF Act.
”That’s if the Minister of Labour and Employment acted correctly when he suspended the claimants as Managing Director and Govt Director of the Board of NSITF.
”Additionally, purporting to have established prima facie infractions on the Monetary Regulation and Procurement Act and gross misconduct towards them in breach of the claimants constitutional assured proper to truthful listening to,” she stated.
In her judgment, Justice Anuwe thought-about points 1 to three collectively and held that it was not the first Defendant (Minister of Labour and Employment) that suspended the claimants from workplace however the 2nd Defendant (President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria).
On the fourth pleading, Justice Anuwe submitted that the suspension of the claimants was a prelude to the investigation of the allegations made towards them.
Based on the Choose, suspension from work or workplace is a disciplinary process that retains away an worker or appointee being disciplined from obligation for a set or terminal interval or indefinitely pending investigation into the alleged misconduct.
Citing related authorities, she defined that on the stage of suspension, truthful listening to was not a privilege the claimants might insist to be accorded them earlier than they may very well be suspended.
“The claimants are due to this fact misconceived as to their rights after they complain on this go well with that their proper to truthful listening to was breached after they had been suspended from workplace with out giving them the chance to be heard.
“In sum, I’ve totally thought-about all of the questions submitted by the claimants for dedication within the Originating Summons and all of the 4 questions are resolved within the unfavorable and towards the claimants,” she stated.
Justice Anuwe additional dismissed the go well with for having no advantage.