Industrial Court Nullifies Dismissal of Dr. Adewuyi from LAUTECH, Faults Lecturer on Breach of Bond Agreement

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The Presiding Judge, Ibadan Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Dele Peters has declared the purported dismissal of Dr. Adewuyi dated 25th May 2018 by the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho as null and void.

The Court held that the resignation of appointment by Dr. Adekunle Adewuyi is both valid and effectual.

Justice Peters faulted the lecturer on the breach of the terms of the Bond Agreement he entered with Ladoke Akintola University, and ordered Dr. Adewuyi and his Surety to jointly pay LAUTECH the sum of N3,519,137.57 (Three Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Seven Naira, Fifty Seven Kobo) being the amount covering the uncompleted period of two years which Dr. Adewuyi failed to serve the Defendant pursuant to the Bond Agreement dated 9th July, 2007 mutually executed between the parties within 30 days.

However, the court refused to award the sum of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) only as representing LAUTECH Solicitors’ Fees against Dr. Adewuyi on the ground that doing so is contrary to public policy.

From facts, the Claimant- Dr. Adekunle Adewuyi had submitted that he was given approval for Study Leave with pay to study for his Ph. D abroad and he signed a Bond Agreement with LAUTECH and when he returned from study leave he worked with the Defendant for about 2 years and later resigned his employment with the University using his outstanding deferred leave to balance up the remaining period he was to serve the Defendant under his bond and that the Defendant rather than accept his resignation dismissed him.

In defense, the defendant- LAUTECH averred that Dr. Adewuyi failed to keep to the terms and conditions of the Bond Agreement he entered into with it, that the reason for the dismissal was based on the continuous absence of Dr. Adewuyi from work after the rejection of his purported letter of resignation.

Counsel to LAUTECH submitted that Dr. Adewuyi has not paid back for the remaining period for which he has not served the University in line with the bond agreement, that the argument that he has some differed leave to defray his indebtedness is not supported by the University’s Conditions of Service, and urged the court to dismiss the case of Dr. Adewuyi in its entirety and grant all the counter claims as sought.

In opposition, the Learned Counsel to Dr. Adewuyi, Samuel Adeniji Esq argued that LAUTECH breached its contractual obligations by failing to pay his client monthly basic salary during the Study Leave he was granted. That indeed Dr. Adewuyi had resigned from his employment and had ceased to be an employee of the University. Counsel prayed the Court to resolve all the issues in favour of his client and grant all the reliefs sought.

Delivering judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Dele Peters held that an employee has an absolute right to resign from his employment and an employer has no discretion at all on whether to accept or not to accept such resignation.

The Court declared that the letter of dismissal dated 25th day of May 2018 issued by LAUTECH to Dr. Adewuyi as null and void, and held that Dr. Adewuyi has duly resigned his appointment from the institution vide the Claimant’s letter dated November 14, 2011.

The Court refused Dr. Adewuyi’s claim for the sum of Two Million, Five Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Fourteen Naira and Ninety-Three Kobo earned academic allowances and excess workload from April 2010 – March 2012 and the unpaid salary for the month of March 2012 for lack of sufficient evidence as required by law to back up the claim.

Furthermore, the Court declared that having spent four years for his Ph.D programme through University’s Study Leave with pay, Dr. Adewuyi is liable and indebted to serve Ladoke Akintola University of Technology for four years or payment for same pursuant to the Bond Agreement dated 9th July 2007 mutually executed between him and the University.

Justice Dele Peters declared that Dr. Adewuyi and his Surety are jointly and severally indebted to LAUTECH in the sum of N3,519,137.57 (Three Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Naira, Fifty-Seven Kobo) being the amount covering the uncompleted period of two years which Dr. Adewuyi failed to serve the University pursuant to the Bond Agreement dated 9th July 2007 mutually executed between the parties.

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