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Court dismisses employment termination claim against UBA

THE National Industrial Court (NIC), Lagos Judicial Division presided over by Hon. Justice Rabi Gwandu, has dismissed the case filed by one Odeniyi Deborah against United Bank for Africa on alleged wrongful employment termination.

The Court held that the Odeniyi failed to prove her case to be entitled to the reliefs sought against the bank.

Odeniyi told the court that by a letter dated February 21, 2016, she was dismissed from the services of the bank and neither conducted herself nor her services in a manner that can be considered misconduct or amount to gross misconduct.

She stated that there is no basis whatsoever for her dismissal and therefore, prayed the court to declare her dismissal unfair, unjustifiable, and at variance with her contract of employment with the bank and international best practices among other reliefs.

The bank in its defense, told the court that Odeniyi was invited before the disciplinary committee and upon her appearance at the disciplinary committee, she confessed to the allegation of misconduct leveled against her and that upon the recommendation of the disciplinary committee, she was dismissed from its employment.

The defendant’s counsel argued that Odeniyi did not contend the fact that the bank’s disciplinary committee followed the laid down procedure and did not plead the terms and conditions of the contract of service, and did not tender the same which would have aided the court in its determination of the issue of her dismissal from the bank, urged the Court to dismiss the case in its entirety.

Justice Gwandu in his judgment held that in an action for wrongful dismissal from employment, the burden is as always on the claimant to prove the terms and conditions of his contract of employment and in what manner the said terms were breached.

Justice Gwandu further stated that Odeniyi did not tender the terms that were breached by the bank, and did not show the Court how these terms were, but the defendants tendered the disciplinary committee’s finding, which showed the claimant was informed of the charges against her and answered same.

It also tendered the Handbook which outlines the punishment for the offense which she was dismissed for.

“In light of the above, I hereby find and hold that the claimant has failed to prove her case so as to be entitled to the reliefs sought against the defendant. The claimants reliefs are hereby denied and dismissed as the Court finds no merit in same.” Justice Gwandu ruled.

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