Court Nullifies Suspension of Two Lecturers In Ogun - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Court Nullifies Suspension of Two Lecturers In Ogun

Ayobami Ife, Ijebu - Ode

Respite came the way of the two academic staff of the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu, Ogun State  as the National Industrial Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, nullified the suspension order slammed on them by their employer.
The  lecturers - Dr. Daniel Oludipe and Dr. Mrs Dupe  Adenuga, were suspended in  April  2017 over a protest letter written by them  regarding  unpaid  15 months of unpaid salaries, non remittance of nine months  cooperative deductions and Housing scheme among others,  by the employer; the Ministry of Education, Ogun State government, Nigeria.
 But in a recent judgement by the nation's industrial court, the  presiding judge, justice Opeloye  Ogunbowale, set aside the suspension order, submitting that the applicants were not given fair hearing  by either the governing Council of the College  or  the Ministry of Education.
Justice Ogunbowale further held that the  suspension of the lecturers was subject to judicial review and therefore, quashed it.
The court also barred the Governing Council of the College and the State Ministry of Education from further implementing their decisions and  declared the  letters of suspension of the lecturers, null and void. 
The judgement reads: "The Ministry of Education, Ogun State, acted ultra vires or in excess of its  powers by suspending the two applicants.
"Where the enabling law makes clear provision for the person or the body that can discipline employees as done by the Tai Solarin College of Education law 2018, the law must be followed and only the body imbued with power by the enabling law of the institution can carry out disciplinary powers. 
"Where a statute confers specific or special powers on any person or authority and no other that is contemplated in the performance of the duties under the law.
"The cases are very instructive and apposite in the circumstances and also similar to the case under consideration, the applicants in this case were disciplined contrary to the enabling law by the persons not contemplated by the law.
"The only competent authority that is vested with the power to retire or remove anyone from office is the University Council and not the Ministry of Education."
The court added that the  actions of the Governing Council and State Ministry of Education amount to executive lawlessness and flagrant disregard to the enabling law of the College.
The Presiding judge, however, asked the Ministry of Education and Governing Council  to pay a sum of N100, 000  in favour of the  two lecturers.

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