The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NIT) in Enugu State has ordered the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, to reinstate Basil Offoh and pay his salary arrears (from April 30 till date) within 30 days.
Offoh, a Chief lecturer and former Acting Head of the Department of Language Studies, is challenging his removal as HoD by the Rector without authorisation of the Governing Council and other instant statutes governing operations of the Institute, among other reliefs.
Defendants in suit are the Institute, Rector, Deputy Rector, Dr. Anibueze Ifeyinwa and Mr. Stanley Okoh.
Offoh in the suit challenged his removal as the HoD by the Rector without the authorization of the Governing Council and other instant statutes governing operations of the Institute among other reliefs.
Offoh was suspended on April 11, 2018, with the Governing Council directed that he be placed on half salary. He was allegedly suspended for no reason.
Justice Oluwakayode Arowosegbe described the management’s action as an ‘affront to the authority and dignity of the judiciary and the constitution’.
Justice Arowosegbe held that the defendants did not counteract the suspension letter and its contents, meaning they accepted the accusation as true. “This is most uncivilised conduct. It is unfortunate that it came from a public body supposedly composed of eminent personalities and a body presumed to have access to good legal advice,” he noted.
He said once a matter is in court, all parties involved are expected to defer to the court in the interest of peace and order.
“They are to eschew self-help. What the Governing Council of the defendants and its members did is totally unbecoming of a public body, which holds its existence to the Constitution and the law.”