Forte Oil, To Pay Ex-staff N6.2M For Wrongful Dismissal

The National Industrial Court, Abuja, changed a summary dismissal of a staff of Forte Oil Plc to termination, and also awarded a cost of N6.280 Million to be paid to the claimant as gratuity. The NICN arrived at this particular sum by calculating the claimant’s basic monthly salary to the numbers of years he worked for the defendant.

Justice Benedict Kanyip, who presided over the case, also ordered Forte Oil to pay the claimant, Mr Muhammed Chiroma, the sum of N400,530 being his one-month salary in lieu of notice. Kanyip, had declared that the claimant’s dismissal as was wrongful, while reading his judgement and so set it aside.

He further said the dismissal was wrongful because it did not follow the policies and procedures governing the conditions of service for the defendant’s staff.

According to Kanyip, the manual stipulated termination of employment for a staff found guilty of dereliction and negligence of duty, and not summary dismissal. He also said the manual also stated that a staff can be issued a query by only a direct supervisor, and this fact was disregarded in the case.

Kanyip also pointed out that the failure of the defendant to set up a disciplinary panel before dismissing the claimant, was in contrast with provisions of the manual that governed the conditions of service of the defendant

The judge, therefore, converted the dismissal to termination and ordered that the judgment should be complied with, within 30 days.

The claimant, had claimed that he was employed by the defendant in its Gusau office in June, 1994.

And that he rose to the position of a Sales representative, until he was issued a query for dereliction and negligence of duty.

Mr Lasco Pwahomdi, the claimant’s counsel, in his submission, said he was not invited to appear before any disciplinary panel, before he was summarily dismissed on Jan. 19, 2010.

Information gathered by WakeUpAfrica360 reveals that the case was first struck out by a State High Court in Gusau, for lack of jurisdiction in 2013. But the claimant, appealed the judgment before the Court of Appeal Sokoto Division, who then transferred the case to NICN, in 2018.

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