By Abdulwahab Abdullah
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Transcorp, has queried the power of the Federal High Court to entertain a N2.5 billion suit brought against it by a former Managing Director of the company, Mr. Tom Iseghohi, challenging the termination of his appointment.
The company in its notice of preliminary objection queried the ability and powers of the Federal High Court to hear the suit based on the provision of Section 254c (1) of the Third Amendment to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 which vests exclusive jurisdiction in respect of the subject matters of the suit on the National Industrial Court.
Mr. Iseghohi who served as the Transcorp Managing Director till his appointment was terminated on December 22, 2009 has urged the Federal High Court to reverse the decision of the company that terminated his appointment and declare same as illegal, null and void and of no effect.
Apart from this, the applicant urged the court to order the defendant to pay him the sum of N2.583 billion being the sum of his entitlement including salaries and other emoluments.
However, in its preliminary objection filed by its counsel, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, Transcorp submitted that since the issue expected to be heard and determined by the High Court related to the plaintiff’s employment, issues arising from termination of appointment and payment of his salaries and allowances by his old employer, such matter cannot be entertained by the Federal High Court.
Chief Clarke argued that the sole issues to be determined by the court include whether the court is entitled to entertain the suit in view of the provision of Section 245C(1) of the Third Amendment to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.