Court reinstates illegally dismissed Senior officer
National Industrial Court (NIC) in Abuja has set aside the decision by former Comptroller General (CG) of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede, dismissing an NIS senior official, Daniel Makolo.
Justice E. N. Agbakoba ruled yesterday that NIS, under Babandede, was lawless in suspending and dismissing Makolo without just cause.
The judgment was on the suit Makolo filed against NIS.
Makolo, who was chief superintendent of Immigration was suspended on November 7, 2017, and his salary stopped until he was dismissed via a letter of April 25, 2018, for querying the legality of some decisions by Babandede-led NIS.
The NIS said his dismissal took effect from the day he was suspended and that he was dismissed for insubordination and making false claims against a government official.
Defendants are: Minister of Interior (as chairman of Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDFIPSB), CDFIPSB, CG-NIS, NIS, Federal Head of Service, and Federal Attorney General.
Justice Agbakoba, who frowned at NIS for suspending Makolo despite the pendency of the court’s order for parties to maintain the status quo, said the service acted unlawfully for suspending the claimant because he sued NIS.
In voiding the dismissal, the judge held that the defendants failed to comply with the Public Service Rules.
She held that Makolo’s employment with NIS has statutory flavour and that issues of discipline and termination were governed by statute, which must be complied with.
Justice Agbakoba also held that Makolo’s suspension and termination were done outside Public Service Rules and, therefore, null and void.
The judge ordered the claimant’s reinstatement in 30 days from date of the judgment.
She said: “An order is made reinstating the claimant to the employment of the defendants without loss of rank, position or privileges as his contemporaries in the defendants’ service are now Deputy Comptroller Generals of the fourth defendants (NIS).”
Justice Agbakoba also issued an order “directing the defendants to pay the claimant his outstanding salaries, emoluments, allowances and other entitlements due to him from November 7, 2017, when his salary was stopped unlawfully, till when the claimant is fully reinstated to the employment of the fourth defendant without loss of rank, position and privileges as his contemporaries still in the service of the defendants”.