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Court fixes April 5 for adoption of final addresses in N8m suit against UI

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Court fixes April 5 for adoption of final addresses in N8m suit against UI
The National Industrial Court in Ibadan (UI), on Tuesday, fixed April 5 for adoption of final written addresses in a suit filed by Prof. Adenike Ogunshe against University of Ibadan over alleged unlawful termination of her appointment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogunshe of the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, had dragged the institution and its council to court, demanding for N8 million as damages.

Ogunshe, in her suit, claimed that due process was not followed by the institution in the termination of her appointment.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on Tuesday, Counsel to UI, Mr Adebayo Ajayi, informed the court that he had communicated to the institution’s management on the Dec. 14, 2020 directive of the court to settle the matter out of court.

Ajayi, who was in company with retired Profs. Oluwole Osunubi and Ishola Fashidi, both of whom were appointed by UI to oversee the out of court settlement, said he was unable to get the cooperation of the claimant’s counsel.

Justice John Peter later called the two professors to brief the court on what they noticed why trying to settle the matter.

They informed the court that they discovered that the Department of Microbiology, where the claimant worked, was not willing to take her back, when contacted.

The professors said that the department wanted the claimant to apologise and repent before they could take her back.

The claimant’s counsel, Mr Femi Aborisade, told the court that there was an indication that the defendants were not willing to settle the matter amicably but to delay it unnecessary.

Aborisade said that the institution being the employer does not need to consult Microbiology Department on their decision on the settlement,if they were serious with the settlement.

According to him, it is the institution that ought to take a decision on the settlement and not the department.

He, however, urged the court to allow him move his application for adoption of final written address.

Justice John Peters said it was wrong for the Microbiology department to insist on not taking the claimant back, adding that they were all employees and that no law allowed any employee to dictate to the employer.

Peters stressed the need for the parties to tolerate one another, adding that life was about shifting ground.

“I am still appealing to the counsels to find ways of resolving this matter amicably. I don’t see any dispute that is beyond amicable settlement.

“Section 20 of the National Industrial Court Act encourages reconciliation and amicable settlement of matters,” the judge said.

He then adjourned the matter till April 5, for the adoption of final written addresses by the parties.

NAN recalls that the claimant’s counsel had informed the court that his client’ s appointment was unlawfully terminated on June 14, 2016 over alleged misconduct.

He urged the court to declare the termination of the appointment of his client as unconstitutional and a violation of her constitutional right to justice and fair hearing.

The counsel also urged the court to set aside the purported termination and order her client’s reinstatement without any loss of earning, salaries and allowances.

He equally demanded for an award of N8 million as damages against the university for its failure to give her three months notice before the termination of her appointment. (NAN)

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