Court orders Forte Oil Plc to pay ex-official N6.2m gratuity

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The National Industrial Court (NIC), Abuja, on Thursday, converted a summary dismissal of an official of Forte Oil Plc to termination and ordered the company to pay N6.280 million as gratuity.
The court arrived at the sum by calculating the claimant’s basic monthly salary by the numbers of years he worked for the defendant.
Justice Benedict Kanyip also ordered the company  to pay the claimant, Mr Muhammed Chiroma, the sum of N400,530, being his one month salary in lieu of notice.
Kanyip, earlier in the judgement declared that the claimant’s purported dismissal was wrong and set it aside.
He further said the dismissal was wrongful for not following the policies and procedures manual governing the conditions of service for defendant’s staff.
According to Kanyip, the manual stipulated termination of employment for a staff found guilty of dereliction and negligence of duty and not summary dismissal.
He equally said the manual also stated that a staff can be issued a query by only a direct supervisor and this fact was disregarded in this case.
Kanyip also pointed out that the failure of the defendant to set up a disciplinary panel before dismissing the claimant, was in contrast with the provisions of the manual that governed the conditions of service of the defendant
The judge, therefore, converted the dismissal to termination and ordered that the judgment should be complied with, within 30 days.
The claimant in his statement of claims stated that he was employed by the defendant in its Gusau office in June, 1994.
He added that he rose to the position of a Sales representative until he was issued a query for dereliction and negligence of duty.
Mr Lasco Pwahomdi, the claimant’s counsel in his submission said his claimant was not invited to appear before any disciplinary panel before he was summarily dismissed on Jan. 19,2010.
The case was first struck out by a  State High Court in Gusau for lack of jurisdiction in 2013.
The claimant, however, appealed the judgement before Court of Appeal Sokoto division, who then transferred the case to NICN in 2018.

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