By Festus Ahon
TWO years after the Governing Council of the University of Benin reinstated him to the services of the institution, erudite scholar, Prof. E.A. Ophori, yesterday, lifted the lid on how he regained his employment in the institution.
Ophori, in a statement, said his return to the institution was contained in a letter of reinstatement dated 21 May 2018 and signed by Mr S.O. Ogbemudia, on behalf of the university’s Registrar Mrs O.A. Oshodin, following the directives of the National industrial court, NIC, Akure, Ondo State.
He explained that he had approached the National Industrial Court to prove his innocence after the university’s Governing council unlawfully dismissed him in May 2013 for unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct.
He said the Judge of the national industrial Court Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi while delivering her judgement, “directed that l be reinstated. She said my dismissal was in total violation of the extant rules of the university and against the rule of natural justice and therefore, null and void”.
He noted that in adherance to the decision of the court, his letter of dismissal was withdrawn and the status quo maintained without any loss of rank and seniority.
He said he was subsequently reinstated in May 2018 and resumed duty on the 28th of May, 2018.
“My reinstatement was published in the university of Benin Campus News of September 2019, Vol 11, No 9, page 36.
“Through my counsel Mr Eze Ezenwa of Olayiwola Afolabi Chambers, l had sought the sum of N100 million as damages for the emotional trauma and hardship my family went through within the period but the sum of N50, 000 was awarded as cost along with other financial entitlements,” he said.