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N1bn claim: Court dismisses Nigerian Army’s preliminary objection

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The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Monday dismissed the  preliminary objection raised by the Nigerian Army, in a suit filed by retired Col. Danladi Hassan, seeking N1 billion as damages and to void his compulsory retirement.

Hassan who instituted the suit is seeking to void his alleged compulsory retirement, reinstatement and payment of compensatory and exemplary damages to the tune of N1 billion.

The defendant counsel, Simon Onoja, in a preliminary objection, urged the court to strike out the suit for being incompetent due to non-fulfillment of condition precedent to instituting an action, and for lack of jurisdiction.

Onoja raised the objection, as he claimed that the claimant did not compile with Section 178 of the Armed Forces Act.

The Act stipulates that an officer should exhaust all administrative remedies available to him before embarking on any action to seek redress in the court of law, the counsel said.

The Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado, in his ruling, dismissed the preliminary objections raised by Onoja.

“The disagreement between the parties is whether the letter written to the President, Commander-in-Chief, amount to fulfillment of condition precedent provided for in Section 178 of the Armed Forces Act.

“Based on the letter of appeal written to the President, the claimant has complied with the condition precedent before instituting his action as stipulated by the Armed Forces Act.

“The court has also found that the pleading of the claimant has disclosed a cause of action capable of being enforced,” the judge said.

The case was adjourned until April 19 for continuation of hearing.

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