The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Monday affirmed the dismissal of Mrs Rashida Kolawole, as Kwara State University Principal System Analyst, over gross misconduct of manipulation, falsification of results
Justice Oyejoju Oyewumi held that the court adopted two issues in order to determine the matter.
Oyewumi held that the first issue was whether the suit was competent and the second issue was whether the claimant through legal evidence established her case to entitle her to the reliefs sought.
She held that the defence argument that the suit was not competent was discountenanced.
The defendant had averred that the claimant did not follow laid down procedure as stipulated by rules that governed her employment of exploring internal avenues of settling grievances before seeking redress in court,
She said no modalities were clearly stated in the defendant’s condition of service on how an employer can seek redress apart from the 21 days given for an employer to appeal any decision taken by the defendant.
The judge also stated that the said document failed to provide outlets where employers can seek redress against any grievances.
Oyewumi further discountenanced the claimant’s counsel submission that his client needed to have been tried by a competent court before her dismissal.
She said it was no longer law that an employee must be tried by a court before they can be dismissed so long as laid down guidelines governing the employment was not breached.
The judge said, in this case, the KWASU Act and Administrative manual of sanction and disciplinary procedures were followed.
In addition, she said the claimant was issued a query and she responded by denying the allegations levelled against her.
According to the judge, the claimant was also invited by the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee and she was given opportunity to make representations of refuting the allegations and even cross-examine the witnesses.
She said it was when the committee found her culpable that they recommended her dismissal.
She, therefore, said,” I find and hold that the dismissal was lawful”.
Oyewumi added that an employee whose employment was terminated through the adherence of laid down procedures cannot pray to be reinstated.
In relation to the claim of the claimant for payment of salaries and entitlement, she said from evidence before the court, the claimant was paid half of her salaries the period she was on suspension.
She, however, said an employee who was dismissed cannot lay claim to any salary or benefit.
She concluded by saying ” the claimant claims fail in its entirety and consequently, the suit is hereby dismissed”.
The claimant is said to had worked as a Programmer System Analyst at the university until she was served a dismissal letter on April 20, 2017, on allegation of gross misconduct of manipulating and falsifying results for over 30 students.
From her complaint, she had urged the court to declare that the termination of her employment was unlawful, illegal and a calculated attempt by the defendant to tarnish her reputation.
Kolawole also sought for an order of the court directing the defendant to reinstate her with all her benefits and privileges as accrued.
She equally sought for payment of N20 million as aggravated and exemplary damages.