The National Industrial Court has ordered the Kogi State Local Government Service Commission to recall a dismissed staff member, Munirat Idris.
The court also declared the dismissal of the claimant over alleged fake certificate, as unlawful.
Delivering judgment, Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi, held that Idris was not given fair hearing as required by law before her dismissal.
The judge stated that the failure of the commission to consider the letters from the claimant’s Institution addressed to it affirming the originality of the claimant’s certificate was wrong.
She further held that it was still the certificate that formed the foundation upon which the claimant was dismissed.
The court therefore made a consequential order for Idris to be placed back in her former position in the commission.
The court in addition ordered that the defendant to pay all the claimant’s salaries from the date of her dismissal till date.
From facts, the claimant, Idris had contended that her dismissal by the commission was grossly unjust, unlawful, improper, and wrongful.
She submitted that the defendant dismissed her over alleged fake result which her school had affirmed its originality.
The claimant further submitted that all effort to be reinstated proved abortive, hence her instituting the suit.
In defence, the commission urged the court to decline jurisdiction on the ground that the case was instituted outside the three months permissible by the Public Officers (Protection) Law.
The defendant argued that the cause of action arose in 2018 thereby making the suit status barred.
The defendant also averred that the said certificate was obtained after the the claimant joined the commission.
The commission further stated that the claimant was never at any time given a study leave to pursue any course.
Defence therefore asserted that the said forged certificate was referred to the relevant committee and that the claimant was accorded a fair hearing before her dismissal.
The defendant concluded by urging the court to dismiss the suit in its entirety.
The claimant in her submission contended that she sought and obtained official approval before proceeding on her study.
Her counsel also stated that the suit was not status-barred and no documentary evidence of the committee’s proceedings was placed before the court to show that the claimant was ever served query or even allowed to defend herself.
The court on its part after listening to both parties dismissed the defendant’s objections for lack of merit and affirmed the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
Oyewumi further held that there was nothing on Exhibit Q to show that the defendant considered the said subsequent letters Exhibit Q5 and Q9 before dismissing the claimant.
“In view of the subsequent revelations, the defendant should not have proceeded to dismiss the claimant on the strength of Exhibit K.
“Exhibit Q5 and Q9 have boldly stated to be an error with attached transcripts of the claimant in prove of the fact that the claimant did attend the school and lawfully obtained the certificate in question”, the judge ruled.