Industrial Court Dismisses Unlawful Employment Termination Claim Against FIRS

Hon. Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae of the Abuja Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court has validated the employment termination of one Edward from the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The Court dismissed Edward’s claim of unlawful employment termination for lacking merit, and held that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has justified the reasons that necessitated the termination of Mr. Edward’s employment.

From facts, the Claimant- Mr. Edward had submitted that he was queried for an allegation of misconduct and despite the information he provided regarding the allegations, he was suspended pending investigation of the allegations against him.

He further stated that he appeared before a disciplinary panel and he was asked to go and that they will get across to him if any need arises, only for him to receive a letter terminating his appointment on the 5th of February, 2019.

The learned counsel to Mr Edward averred that the Federal Inland Revenue Service did not follow the disciplinary procedures in the Human Resource Policies and Processes (HRPP) Handbook and the Public Service Rules before the wrongful termination of his client appointment, urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.

In defence, the Defendant- Federal Inland Revenue Service averred that the Committee in their report recommended that Mr. Edward’s appointment be terminated for misconduct, and the report was presented to the Chairman of the FIRS Board and the recommendations were approved.

FIRS averred that Edward’s employment was lawfully terminated, and urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety.

In reply, Counsel to Mr Edward stated that the Board of the FIRS never approved his illegal and wrongful termination as the Board never sat during the relevant period to consider the report of the disciplinary committee.

Delivering judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae affirmed that Edward was given a fair hearing, and his employment was terminated based on the allegations he was queried on and his responses to them.

The court held that FIRS did not violate Edward’s constitutional right to a fair hearing and he was paid three months salary in lieu of notice in accordance with his employment contract.

On Mr. Edward’s assertion that the Board of the FIRS did not meet to consider the report of the disciplinary committee, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae held that there is no evidence by Mr. Edward in proof of his assertion that the Board did not meet.