Court Endorses Sack Of 245 NITDA’s Workers

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Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh (middle), with President, John Deere (JD) Company, USA, Mr Mark Von Pentz(3rd leeft), Managing Director, JD, Mr Jason Brantley (2nd left), Director of Information, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Tolu Makinde and others, during a meeting between the Minister and Deere's delegation in Abuja, recently.

The National Industrial Court, Abuja, yesterday affirmed the disengagement of 245 workers of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Justice Simisola Adeniyi, in her judgment said the failure of all the 245 claimants to tender their letters of employment was fatal to their case.
“Although the 245 claimants were employed on the same day, their contracts of employment were different.
“Therefore, all the letters of employment and acceptance letters of the claimants should have been tendered in evidence before the court,” she said.
Adeniyi said that the three letters of employment tendered, stated that it was a probationary employment.
The judge said that the defendant had the right to either confirm or terminate the claimants’ employment at the end of the probation period.
The judge said that what the three claimants that tendered their letters of employment should have sought for was their unpaid salaries and allowances.
“Since there is no evidence before the court to show calculations of the remuneration due to them, I find and hold that the claimants are not entitled to general damages.
“This case is lacking in merit and it is hereby dismissed accordingly in its entirety,” she said.
The claimants, through their counsel, Wilfred Otasowie, had sought for a declaration that their disengagement was illegal, null and void and of no effect.
They also asked for reinstatement, payment of their salaries and N500 million as general damages.
The counsel said the claimants were duly employed, and given appointment letters.
He said that after their documentation and while awaiting for their posting, they were notified of their disengagement through a newspaper publication in August 2016.
Ibrahim Attahiru, the defendant’s counsel in his submission, said the employment of the claimants in November 2015, was marred with irregularities, while due process was not followed.
Attahiru said that interviews were not conducted and letters of employment were issued before approval was given.