His Lordship, Hon. Justice Olufunke Anuwe of the Abuja judicial division of the National Industrial Court has nullified the compulsory retirement of Alex Daniel from the Federal Housing Authority, ordered his immediate reinstatement with payment of outstanding salaries and other entitlements accruing to him since 2019 till date.
The Court held that Alex’s purported retirement was not lawfully done, awarded the sum of One Hundred thousand against the Housing Authority for the cost of action.
From facts, the claimant- Alex Daniel had submitted that by a letter dated 24/9/2019, the agency informed him that the Board had approved his compulsory retirement on the ground that his services are no longer required and his account has been credited with the payment of salary in lieu of notice which he rejected and also returned the sum paid into his account through a bank draft.
His counsel, Nnaemeka Okeke Esq and Ishaku Garba Esq submitted further that all queries issued to Alex were satisfactorily answered and no criminal allegation has been proved against him, that the agency failed to abide by the Federal Civil Service Rules, and urged the court to nullify Alex retirement and grant other reliefs sought.
In defence, the Housing Authority maintained that Alex was found guilty of misconduct and dismissal was recommended but the disciplinary committee chose to retire him instead and the decision was duly approved that all actions were taken in accordance with the Public Service Rules and the Agency Revised Staff Condition of Service.
The agency Counsel B. J. Akomolafe Esq and D. A. Olowoniwa Esq submitted further that Alex Daniel was retired on grounds of redundancy because his services were no longer required urged the court to dismiss the case for lacking merit.
Delivering Judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Olufunke Anuwe held that the submission of the Housing Authority was contradictory and the provisions of the condition of service on termination, retirement, and redundancy are different and all cannot be employed at the same time to remove a single employee from employment.
“In any case, the retirement letter is clear as to what manner the claimant was removed from the employment. There is nothing in the retirement letter to suggest that the retirement of the Claimant was on disciplinary grounds or grounds of redundancy as alleged by Defendant.
“Consequently, I find no merit in the allegation of the Claimant that the Defendant does not have the vires to discipline or retire him. The fault I find however in this case is that the Claimant was not retired on disciplinary grounds neither was the retirement lawfully done.