Industrial Court Orders Oyo State Governor To Immediately Reinstate Ajisebutu

The Presiding Judge, Ibadan Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Dele Peters has declared the purported termination of Mr. Ajisebutu Jimoh’s employment vide a letter of compulsory retirement dated June 2021 and issued by the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission, as wrongful, illegal, null and void and of no effect.

The Court ordered the immediate reinstatement of Mr. Ajisebutu Jimoh to his post and office with all rights and privileges attached to his employment in the service of the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission.

Justice Dele Peters also directed Oyo State Governor, Attorney General and Oyo State Local Government Service Commission to pay Mr. Ajisebutu Jimoh all his arrears of salary, accrued promotions and bonuses from the time of unlawful termination of his employment from 30th June 2021 till the time of his reinstatement.

From facts, the claimant- Mr. Ajisebutu Jimoh had submitted he was compulsorily retired by the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission on allegations of irregularities in his credentials and was denied fair hearing.

In defence, the 2nd defendant- Governor of Oyo State averred that Mr. Ajisebutu should have been 13 years old when he left primary school and not 12 years old as stated in his affidavit of declaration of age; and submitted that the Government followed due process as laid down in Oyo State Unified Local Government Service (Staff) Regulations, and added that falsification of documents is serious misconduct under Oyo State Local Government Service Commission Regulations of which penalty is dismissal; and urged the Court to dismiss the case of Mr. Ajisebutu in its entirety.

In addition, the 1st defendant- Oyo State Local Government Service Commission maintained that Mr. Ajisebutu failed to provide evidence to show that he was not guilty of falsification of age and other irregularities discovered in his documents for him to be entitled to the reliefs sought.

In opposition, the Counsel to Mr. Ajisebutu, Muktar Aderogba with L.A. Ahmed & E.E Musa submitted that Oyo State Local Government Service Commission compulsorily retired their client on an allegation of irregularities in service records or irregularities in documents yet no such offence exists in the Local Government Law or its subsidiary legislation and urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.

Delivering judgement after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Dele Peters held that the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission and 2 others did not cross-examine Mr. Ajisebutu Jimoh on the events leading to his change of names and filing of an affidavit to that effect.

Justice Dele Peters affirmed that it was proper for Ajisebutu’s Primary School Testimonial to have stated his age to be 12 years as at 27 June 1977 and his Declaration of Age was properly deposed to both as regards the venue as well as the Commissioner for Oath.

The Court ruled that Mr. Ajisebutu’s Primary School Testimonial was properly executed by the Headmaster of the School concerned, and the contents of both exhibits are not in any way inconsistent or contradictory to each other.

Justice Dele Peters held that the compulsory retirement of Mr. Ajisebutu Jimoh was neither justified nor proper, and the foundation for same was faulty from the onset.