Industrial Court sets aside employment termination of Prof. Emmanuel from UNN, orders parties to maintain status quo

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The Presiding Judge, Enugu Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, Hon Justice Oluwakayode Arowosegbe has set aside the purported Letter of employment termination of Professor Emmanuel Ejiogu issued by the University Of Nigeria and its Vice-Chancellor; awarded the sum of N50,000 cost of action against the University.

Justice Arowosegbe held that the action of the University of Nigeria in sacking Professor Emmanuel during the pendency of the case is illegal and no court of law would allow itself to be presented with such contempt.

From facts, the claimant- Professor Emmanuel Ejiogu had sought for an order of the court to set aside the termination of his appointment that was done during the pendency of the Motion on Notice and the substantive suit, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.

In defense, the University of Nigeria submitted that Prof. Emmanuel flagrantly disobeyed the regulations guiding his temporary appointment and refused to abide by several Council’s decisions; and as such, not entitled to the reliefs claimed because his temporary appointment had lapsed.   

Delivering the judgment, the Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Oluwakoayode Arowosegbe held that where there is an application to restrain an august body from exercising such power duly conferred on it by law, it cannot ignore it and go ahead in self-help, to exercise it, to foist a fait accompli on the court seized of the application.

“No court of law would allow itself to be presented with a contemptuous fait accompli.

“And to show the fait accompli intent of the defendants/respondents, after sacking the claimant, they proceeded to file their Statement of Defence, calling on the Court to put a toga of legality on their illegality! No Court will allow this.

“The Court hereby restores the parties to the status quo ante litem in this suit, to wit, the claimant/applicant remains in the employ of the 1st respondent pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.” Justice Arowosegbe ruled.

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